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United Way Northumberland’s Backpacks for Kids Program Sets 1,200 Local Students Up for School Success

With the new school year around the corner, United Way Northumberland has stepped up to make sure that 1,200 local students are ready to shine in their classrooms, all thanks to United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program.

This year, United Way put together more than 1,200 backpacks stuffed with school supplies. These backpacks were handed out to students of all ages, from JK to Grade 12, across Northumberland County.

“We are so thankful for all the support the community has shown for our Backpacks for Kids program” says Maggie Darling, Acting Executive Director, Northumberland United Way. “Every student should be able to focus on learning without worrying about having the right supplies.”

Thank you to this year’s Backpacks for Kids sponsors: Staples Cobourg, Cameco, Northumberland County Community and Social Services, Ganaraska Financial Credit Union, SABIC, Food 4 All Northumberland, the Cobourg Lions Community Centre, Northumberland Sunrise Rotary, Rotary Club of Port Hope, the Northumberland Labour Council, the local Police Services, and our individual and local business donors.

This year, United Way teamed up with the Cobourg Police Service, Port Hope Police Service, and the Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for the “Stuff the Bus” campaign. From July 11 to August 8, 2023, the community came together to donate new backpacks. These backpacks were then filled with school supplies and given to kids and families.

Local organizations also participated in United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program to purchase product, donate, or host collection drives including The Squishy Goose Indoor Playground, CpK Interior Products, Hometown Bingo, Venture13, The Ignite Company, and Grace Christian Reformed Church.

Since it’s launch in 2005, United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program has supported more than 25,000 students across Northumberland County. Each year, United Way relies on the help of sponsors and community members help pack and organize the backpacks at the Cobourg Lions Community Centre before distributing them to local families and social service partners.

“We want to express a huge thank you to all our donors, volunteers, and supporters. Your help and generosity make the Backpacks for Kids program possible each year,” says Darling.

United Way still has a few backpacks left for those in need throughout the school year. To inquire about a backpack, please contact Chelsea Rankin at or call (905) 372-6955.

For more information or if you’d like to donate to United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program, please visit

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