With the back-to-school season already here, Tillicum Twin Theatres is running their second annual backpack drive to collect school supplies for local students in need.
Partnering with Terrace Salvation Army, their aim is to collect up to 40 backpacks filled with stationery items to help make the new school year a little brighter.
The backpack drive was held by the Tillicum Twin Theatres previously for many years and brought back last year by late owner Bill Young. He passed away last December, but his family says he was eager to contribute to the community and they wanted to continue his vision.
“Last year, my dad wanted to bring back something with the matinee. He used to have stuffed toys he gave away all the time and things like that, and we thought what’s the need of the current situation now? And it was kids and school backpacks, they’re a very important part and my sister is a teacher,” says Diane Robinson, daughter of Bill Young who helps out at the theatre. “We’re all just proud of the success last year when our dad initiated it and we’re going to keep that legacy going.”
Hung up throughout the theatre are colourful backpacks donated by the community and local businesses. The Terrace Salvation Army will be distributing the backpacks next week once they collect all the supplies to fill the bags. Boxes are lined up by their doorway for patrons to drop off items for the drive.
“Having these tools for school are a necessity and so the community coming together to provide that is amazing,” says Rick Apperson, local lieutenant of the Salvation Army in Terrace. “Having a brand new backpack and being able to go to school and fit in, that goes a long way for kids’ self-esteem.”
He adds many families picked the backpacks up last year with a lot of tearful gratitude. For him, working together with the Tillicum Twins Theatres to help support low-income household was a great experience and he looks forward to continuing the event for years to come.
Although it’s been difficult with the passing of their father, Robinson says their entire family has been taking it day by day and focusing on the good he’s left behind in the world. His now-widowed wife, Norma Young, has since been running the theatre and plans to hold more events that will give back to the community and remember Bill.
Their goal is to eventually reach 100 backpacks to give to students.