Back-to-school time can produce a whirlwind of emotions, depending on who you are. For some children, it brings the excitement of a new year of learning, playing and friendships. It might mean new shoes or clothing, and possibly a new backpack full of school supplies.

But for some families, back-to-school time is a majorly stressful event. If you're already struggling to keep up with day-to-day bills and to put food on the table, the added expense of school supplies (which some estimates place at around $500, per child) can lead to feelings of absolute desperation!

That is why The Banquet's Project S.O.S. (Supply Our Students)  works so hard year-round, to gather backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, scissors, glue and so much more, to help families struggling to afford necessary school supplies for their kids.

Last year Project S.O.S. gave out over 6,000 backpacks filled with those precious school supplies. This year they are planning to pack 6500 backpacks for kids living in and around Sioux Falls.

You can help our less fortunate friends and neighbors by supporting The Banquet's efforts in so many ways:

  • Visit one of the participating retailers, purchase supplies and place them in the collection boxes.
  • Bring donations/supplies directly to The Banquet, 900 East 8th Street, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by Friday, August 10th. (A $35 donation will provide a child living in a low-income household with a brand new backpack and all the school supplies they'll need for a year).
  • Volunteer by calling Project S.O.S. at 335-7066. Packing Day is Friday, August 16, Distribution Day is Saturday, August 17, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Various shifts are available but you must pre-register. Also, data entry volunteers are needed for all Saturday shifts and you and your group can help to make art bags for their students.
  • Make a cash donation indicating it is for "school supplies"

Participating retailers include:

  • Lewis
  • Hyvee
  • Menards
  • Staples
  • Wild Water West (every Tuesday)

For more information call Mary at 605-335-7066, follow them online and on Facebook.