Support for back-to-school is heart-warming

It used to be that shopping for back-to-school supplies in advance of a new academic year was a fun exercise for children and families. A cool new notebook, fresh pens and pencils, maybe some folders, markers … in bygone days, it did not amount to a capital investment.

Today, things are different. Budget cuts call for students (and teachers) to acquire more and different supplies, often supplementing the things previously provided by the schools themselves. All of a sudden, it became burdensome on families, particularly during the economic downturn and the ongoing lack of wage increases across the board.

Stepping into that void, here in North Dakota, have been institutions and individuals who organize drives for backpacks for students headed back to school, complete with the most common needs.

One hesitates to mention some by name for fear of leaving some others out.

Military children at Minot Air Force Base received backpacks and school supplies as part of Operation Homefront’s annual Back-to-School Brigade.

Minot’s Bob Gross, a painter and handyman, is once again giving out free backpacks to any kid who lacks one. It’s how Gross has chosen to remember his late nephew DaySun Gross, who died in a car accident near Roosevelt Park 16 years ago.

In Rugby, I Design and local social services are partnering to provide a whole room full of back-to-school and other necessary supplies for children to those in need.

There are others in Minot and in our vicinity engaged in the same effort. Each and every contributor deserves a tip of the hat.

What this demonstrates is the strength of the community, the willingness of individuals and businesses to fill the void left by budget constraints and parents struggling with expenses their parents might not have had to address.

This speaks volumes about our community.

Yet another reason to be proud of the ethics and character of the people of Minot and our region.