New Castle News

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August 13, 2013

Photos, Story: Salvation Army provides free backpacks, day of fun for local kids

NEW CASTLE — Nearly 500 local children received a free backpack Saturday morning during the Back to School Bash at Cascade Park.

The event was the culimination of The Salvation Army’s Stuff the Bus campaign, in which local residents were invited to shop for back-to-school supplies and drop them off at a school bus parked outside Walmart, Kmart or the Greater New Castle Federal Union.

“We had 430 kids registered,” Salvation Army Capt. Geoffrey Swires said early Saturday morning, “and we’ve already had 30 or so walk-ins, so we’re well on our way to 500 again.”

Grants by the Hoyt Foundation and Lawrence County Community Action Partnership enabled the Salvation Army to purchase the backpacks.

But there was more than just book bags to be had at Saturday’s event.

Kids could be fingerprinted and receive an ID card from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. Students from the New Castle School of Beauty were providing haircuts. Balloon animals, face painting, pizza from Pizza Joe’s all were available, as were displays by F.D. Campbell and New Castle public libraries, Jameson Health System, the Lawrence County Blind Association and others. There was even a performance by an Elvis impersonator.

If you wanted to, you could even sign up to ring a bell this holiday season for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign.

You can still do that, or sign up next month for the Bundle Up campaign, by calling The Salvation Army at (724) 652-7921.


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