Groups make sure kids are geared up for school


BHC partners and community grassroots plan annual backpack event
75 backpacks full of school supplies handed out
Merced children start school this week
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Kristen Ramirez, 7, of Merced looks inside her new backpack during a community event that provided backpacks and shoes to children at McNamara Park on Saturday. The backpacks were provided by Distinguished Outreach Services, and shoes were provided by the TLC Collaborative. Andrew Kuhn akuhn@mercedsunstar.com
By Sun-Star Staff 
Scores of Merced children are better prepared to hit the books this week after a school supplies giveaway on Saturday.
Distinguished Outreach Services, a faith-based group in Merced, gave away about 75 backpacks full of supplies to children at McNamara Park. The bags were filled with pencils, notebooks, glue sticks, erasers and more.

“Pretty much all the stuff they need for school,”

said Rachelle Abril, the organization’s program manager.
The event was Distinguished Outreach Services’ 15th annual backpack giveaway, Abril said. Children and others also ate for free at the park.
The supplies and food were provided through donations and grants, she said.
The timing of the backpack-related event was appropriate, as school starts for children across Merced this week.
Distinguished Outreach Services works to provide resources to the less fortunate, particularly in communities in south Merced, Beachwood, Planada and Le Grand.
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