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Vera Bradley and Blessings in a Backpack give 5,000 stuffed backpacks to Bay District students


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A gift that keeps on giving is coming to Bay District students next week.

At Oscar Patterson Elementary, over 5,000 backpacks full of school supplies and snacks are being gifted from Vera Bradley and Blessing In A Backpack to the students of Bay District Schools.

With the Panhandle still struggling to fully recover from Hurricane Michael devastation, school supplies and weekend snacks are something that these organizations can take off the parents’ plates.

Director of Public Relations for Vera Bradley, Greg Jaeger, said they are so blessed to be able to lend a helping hand.

“We’ve just been blown away by the number of kids that are still homeless after the hurricane almost a year later, so we’re really excited to share this and be a part of it. We were just really excited to be able to give these kids some hope for the school year,” said Jaeger.

With many students having no meals on the weekend, Blessings In A Backpack stepped up to help out.

Chief Marketing Officer for Blessings In A Backpack, Nikki Grizzle, said they are more than happy to volunteer.

“We just are thrilled to be able to come into the community and be a little bit of assistance after everything that has happened,” said  Grizzle.

Country music star Lauren Alaina even stopped by to help out packing these backpacks.

“The devastation from the hurricane is so horrible. You hear all about it on the news when it first happens, and then life keeps happening and everyone gets back to their regular lives, but these peoples regular lives were destroyed by this storm,” said Alaina.

Bay District staff hope to distribute the backpacks on Tuesday if the weather permits.

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