The Coastside Community School Backpack Drive is the gift that keeps on giving. Although the distribution of backpacks will be delayed until school resumes in the Cabrillo Unified School District, organizers are still stocking up on a variety of school supplies prior to donation.

The program is organized by a variety of local nonprofits and churches, including Holy Family Episcopal Church, Coastside Hope and Abundant Grace Coastside Worker. Along with the Cabrillo

Unified School District, they identify students in need of school supplies. With in-person classes postponed for the foreseeable future, students may need a few extra supplies at home that they would otherwise have access to in a classroom.

Volunteers will distribute tote bags filled with supplies from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 14 at the Half Moon Bay Library. Last year, the drive donated more than 300 backpacks filled with tools for school. This year’s haul includes binders, spiral-bound notebooks, index cards, rulers, pencils and construction paper, according to Holy Family Episcopal Church Outreach Chair Ken Myers.

“This is a community that really cares, and that makes it special,” Myers said.

Families must contact Coastside Hope in advance to see if they qualify and receive a designated pickup time. Qualifying families will also receive books donated from the library. If interested in volunteering, email backpacks@holyfamilyhmb.org.

Year after year, the Holy Family Episcopal Church manages all the finances for this donation. Myers said though the church is happily taking donations now, it has to use stockpiled funds to meet the demand they expect.

“The good news is people have been generous in the past, so we did have a bit of a reserve,” Myers said. “We’re dipping into it, but it’s good we’ve been able to build it up for a time when giving was down. We weren’t thinking about a pandemic, but it allows us to do what I think is critical for the kids.”

Meanwhile, in Pescadero, students are also receiving backpacks and school supplies courtesy of Puente de la

Costa Sur. Thanks to donations so far, Puente’s back-to-school drive has collected more than 250 backpacks. The nonprofit will distribute them with a drive-through at its Pescadero office location on Aug. 13.

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