Volunteers help with Chattanooga Backpack Project - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Volunteers help with Chattanooga Backpack Project

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

School is in session, and volunteers in Chattanooga are making sure every elementary school student is prepared.

"There's no system," said volunteer Michelle Roberts as she worked, "You just roll with the chaos!"

But it is an organized chaos.

An assembly line of volunteers jump in to pack backpacks full of school supplies.

"Paper, rulers, glue stick, colored pencils, regular pencils," Roberts listed off some items.

The bags will be given out to every students at 10 different schools in Chattanooga.

"We want them to see that I have the same supplies that my neighbor has," project coordinator Kelley Andrews, "My backpack is packed identically. There's nothing different about it."     

This year, volunteers are packing 5,800 bags for the students.

It's part of the backpack project, which has been going on for 17 years.

In the past nearly two decades, volunteers have stuffed and passed out nearly 85,000 backpacks total.

They said they hope the bags will make a big difference for the students.

"One small thing, even if it's a box of crayons, can change the life of a child," Roberts urged.

It's a project volunteers said has one big goal, setting up Chattanooga's youngest citizens for success.

"Because our goal is to trade that backpack into a briefcase," Andrews said.

Each backpack is valued at roughly $31.

Volunteers will pass them out to students on Tuesday.       

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