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Equipping Needy Keiki For School

Real estate and banking have stepped up as key players in rescuing needy families from the annual back-to-school shopping dilemma.

Both Locations Foundation and Central Pacific Bank are actively collecting the little tools of learning in their own style this month.

* Locations – From July 1 to 13, the Locations Foundation “Backpack to School” project accepts donated items from Windward residents at these Prudential Locations sites: Kailua office at 151 Hekili St. #120 and Windward Mall kiosk at center court. Employees then will stuff new backpacks with the supplies and deliver them to several shelters on the island, including Weinberg Village in Waimanalo.

“A brand-new backpack filled with things like pens and paper seems like a small gesture,” pointed out Women in Need shelter executive director Mary Scott Lau, “but in reality, it can make a tremendous difference in helping these kids get on a path to a brighter future.”

* Central Pacific Bank – Throughout July, all 34 statewide branches of CPB will accept supplies and monetary donations, working with Ready to Learn and Helping Hands Hawaii. A monetary gift of $10 will buy a backpack filled with all required supplies. Helping Hands Hawaii president Jan Harada called the annual drive “a breath of fresh air (from) a company committed to improving the lives of keiki.”

Supplies on the DOE list for students range from folder paper, erasers, No. 2 pencils, glue and rulers to portfolios, calculators, crayons and scissors.

July 30 is the first day of classes for Hawaii public school students.