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Local church donates backpacks, supplies to Citrus Heights schools

By Sara Beth Williams–
In an effort to help families struggling to buy school supplies, staff and volunteers from Heights Church last month delivered 480 backpacks to 10 different Citrus Heights schools in the San Juan Unified School District.

Bronson Aalgaard, pastor of Student Ministries at Heights Church said in a phone call to The Sentinel that the supplies were provided for students whose family situation might make it difficult to buy school supplies, and for school staff to use as needed. Backpacks were purchased new, and delivered alongside boxes filled with a variety of school supplies, including notebooks, binder paper, colored pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, erasers and more.

Backpacks and school supplies were provided through donations from church-goers. Outreach Director Sam Morrow said the church has been coordinating the giveaway of backpacks and supplies to schools since 2012. He said it began with 57 backpacks and has grown significantly over the last decade.

“One of our core values as Heights Church is unleashing compassion to our community,” Aalgaard said.

Grand Oaks Elementary Clerk Elaina Goettsch said the delivery of backpacks to their campus was a “phenomenal” gift. Grand Oaks received between 20 to 30 backpacks and two boxes filled with supplies, which they distributed to classrooms as needed.

“We are a low-income, Title 1 school, and any supplies of any sort is greatly appreciated,” said Goettsch.

Stephanie Fredrickson, secretary at Lichen K-8, said her school is appreciative of the donation and noted the newly-delivered backpacks are on hand for any students who need them.

Citrus Heights has 12 schools within the SJUSD, with 10 of those receiving backpacks through Heights Church. Morrow said the church reached out to all 12 schools, but two had previously declined, stating they receive other resources from other organizations.

Organizers said backpacks and boxes of supplies were distributed as evenly as possible throughout the 10 schools.

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