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Programs help Detroit students with school supplies

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — Parents of some Detroit students can cross off buying backpacks and school supplies from their to-do list.

Two local businesses are providing those back-to-school necessities for them.

Detroit-area McDonald’s restaurant owners will give away 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies Monday through Friday. And the Kids In Need Foundation is announcing that every K-5 student in Detroit Public Schools will be receiving a backpack, also filled with school supplies — that’s more than 22,000 backpacks, on Sept. 8, the first day of school, courtesy of Mike Morse Law Firm.

More information can be found on www.855mikewins.com.

The Kids in Need Foundation is a not-for-profit that provides school supplies nationwide to kids most in need. Mike Morse approached the foundation offering his help.

Morse, whose mother is a former Detroit school teacher, said he was made aware of the lack of school supplies for Detroit Public School students, especially in elementary schools, last spring.

“So I partnered with Kids in Need Foundation and CBS to give away 400 backpacks to one school in May,” he said. “It was so much fun to see the kids’ faces, and hear from the teachers how important and meaningful the gesture was. The principal talked about how important it is for the kids to see that others care.”

Morse said he returned to his office and wanted to do more.

I researched and found out that there were 23,000 K-5 students in DPS,” he said. “I asked my team to start figuring out how much it would cost to get every single kid a new, sturdy, good backpack full of all of the supplies they needed to be successful. After thinking about it for a day or two, I decided to go for it and we placed the order.”

He said his goal is to “even the playing field as much as possible for these kids.”

McDonald’s also is helping parents prepare for back to school.

The McDonald’s Get BackPackin’ to School giveaway offers customers the chance to win a backpack by visiting one of 20 participating Detroit-area McDonald’s restaurants during the sweepstakes period. Each McDonald’s-branded backpack will include a spiral notebook, pocket folders, pens and pencils, as well as other school supplies.

“McDonald’s restaurant owners share a wonderful history of supporting the local communities in which we do business,” said Jon Campbell, McDonald’s restaurant owner. “Our back to school program is just one way we can help local families by making sure their children have the supplies necessary to be a success in the classroom.”

For more information, go to www.BackPackDetroit.com.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296