Long Branch, NJ, July 17, 2012 – Family & Children’s Service, Monmouth County’s oldest non-profit social service agency, is currently seeking donations for its annual Reading Buddies Backpack Project which provides new backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies to elementary school students in underserved communities throughout Monmouth County. Administered through FCS’s Retired and Senior Volunteers Program (RSVP), the Backpack Project attempts to level the playing field for those children whose families may not be able to afford new school supplies. Last year, the Backpack Project fulfilled requests for more than 600 free backpacks for local school children, thanks to the generous donations of dozens of local businesses and organizations.

Volunteers with Family & Children’s Service help pack donated backpacks with much-needed school supplies.

“Imagine you are the student who comes to school the first day hoping no one will notice that you don’t have a backpack or essential supplies? Would you be able to concentrate on learning?” FCS Manager of Volunteer Services Samantha White asks. “We want every child to start off the year right; to have the confidence and enthusiasm they need to learn and to grow. Giving them the tools and supplies to learn is part of that process.”

In addition to new backpacks, the agency is seeking donations of new pens, and pencils, crayons, washable markers, blunt scissors, 2-pocket folders, rulers, pencil cases and boxes, pencil sharpeners and erasers, glue sticks and wide-rule notebooks. Donations may be dropped off at FCS’s offices at 191 Bath Avenue, Long Branch, or at its Thrift Boutique at 307 Branchport Avenue, Long Branch through Monday, August 17th.

Volunteers are also needed to sort and pack the backpacks once the items are collected.  For information on volunteering or making donations, please contact Samantha White, FCS Manager of Volunteer Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 732-222-9111.