EUGENE, Ore. — For 15 years St. Vincent de Paul has given away thousands and thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies. On Thursday, hundreds of people stood in the rain to get their hands on one.
The line stretched down Elmira Road to the corner of Highway 99. Kids, parents, even their pets waited under drizzly skies until 9 o’clock when the doors opened. One family near the front of the line had been on the sidewalk for hours.
“So I put an alarm for 3 a.m. and I woke up my mom, and so we left at 3:20 a.m., so we got here around 3:30 a.m.,” said Itzel Ramirez.
The backpacks, which came in a wide selection of colors and designs, cost about $40 each. On Thursday, they were free–something parents and volunteers said was a huge help to their budget.
“You think about clothes and shoes and school supplies and bags and coats and all of the above, yeah, this is a great help to a lot of people,” said Parent Rebecca Tennant.
The offer of free backpacks was for anyone who showed up, regardless of their address or city, as long as they had children.
Organizers say they have 2,500 backpacks to give away. If you missed your chance, you can swing by St. Vincent de Paul and pick one up between now and the first day of school.