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Louisville, KY (WDRB-TV) -- As kids get ready to head back to school, a local organization is helping one thousand children who can't afford a new backpack or school supplies.
At the Academy at Shawnee, the line is long as hundreds of people wait in the hallways. Service for Peace and several companies have sponsored this year's Back-Pack-Angel program.
Kristy Timberlake, a mother, says she's been affected by the economy: "Pretty bad, I've lost my job a few weeks ago, looking for another job, hope things pick up on that."
Timberlake and her family are thankful to get three backpacks and other freebies because school supplies are so expensive.
Shane Countrey says he is also happy, "Real good, cause I used to use the same back had it for two years. Now, I have a new one."
Peter Hayes with Service for Peace says, "Most people are from the Shawnee Neighborhood Place area, but we have people from southern Indiana and throughout who called us." He has told them just to come to the event, everyone is welcome.
500 backpacks were given away last year. Organizers say this year, the need has been much greater because of the economy.
1000 backpacks will be given away for elementary school students to middle and high schoolers, all with age-appropriate school supplies in them
Chad Sanders, a Target Stores Team Leader says, "Basically each backpack contains some of the basic supplies to get started with, for a successful school year."
Students are getting things like pencils, crayons, erasers and folders. Sanders says, "It's not comprehensive by any means." But, he says it takes care of 60 to 70% of the basics."
Organizers say new school supplies do a lot for a child's self esteem, letting families who can't afford it have the same supplies as other children.
Timberlake says, "This is great. It helps a whole lot."
People can pick up the free backpacks until 6 p.m. Thursday or until the supplies run out. Organizers are expecting to have enough for everyone with double the amount of donations this year.
People can still drop off backpacks or supplies or make monetary donations at any Mark's Feed Store. Those items are still needed throughout the school year.