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Bay County nonprofits team up for back to school program, in need of more school supplies

Two Bay County nonprofit organizations are teaming up for this year’s Helen Wirt Lee Back to School program, which provides school supplies and clothing for children in need.
Bay County back to school school supply drive preparations.
Bay County back to school school supply drive preparations.(Colton Cichoracki WJRT)
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 12:26 PM EDT
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - Two Bay County nonprofit organizations are teaming up for this year’s Helen Wirt Lee Back to School program, which provides school supplies and clothing for children in need.

The United Way of Bay County will teaming up with the Boys and Girls Club of the Great Lakes Bay Region for the first time for this year’s event.

“It’s a fun program, it really does warm your heart and it fulfills a need out there,” said Marybeth Laisure, executive director and CEO of the United Way of Bay County.

The United Way will handle the clothing while the Boys and Girls Club will handle the backpacks and school supplies.

Laisure said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a large need for supplies for this school year. She also said that donations are actually up as well.

“We had an increase this year for us because I think that the majority of people knew we were going to have an issue with schools, with so many people laid off and furloughed, maybe not going back,” she said. “There’s still businesses not open. We knew the need would be greater.”

Even though donations are up for the United Way, more help is needed for this program.

The Boys and Girls Club posted on Facebook that they need more school supplies and backpacks.

We are in need of many backpack donations. This Wednesday and Thursday, August 13 and 14, we will have a bus at our Bay...

Posted by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region on Monday, August 10, 2020

And the group will be hosting a school supply drive this week. That event will be happening on August 12 and 13 at the Bay City Club.

We are teaming up with United Way of Bay County to give back to Bay County youth! We are looking for school supplies and...

Posted by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Laisure says they could also use some more volunteers to help with shopping and the distribution that is scheduled on August 24.

She also said that this type of event is unique to Bay County and it certainly helps the kids as they head out to school.

“Everybody remembers their first day back to school, whether you know my age or your age,” she said. “It’s a time of excitement and you get to see your friends, and you want to look your best, you want to feel your best and when you do that that self confidence is there and maybe you’re ready to learn a little bit and get that academic year started.”

For ways you can volunteer or donate, click here.

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