The 2022 STC backpack giveaway saw an estimated crowd of 5000 people converge on White Buffalo Youth lodge, as parents and children looked to pick up a free packback filled with all the back to school essentials.
The first people lined up shortly before 7:00 a.m. even though the doors opened at 9:00 a.m. The limit of 2000 backpacks were handed out by 12:30 p.m.
“The demand is there and we do it for one reason only, the children. It doesn’t matter your race, skin color or ethnic background we want to help everyone,” Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said.
Although some people had to be turned away STC is stepping forward to help those who missed out on the backpacks.
“We have asked for their names and somehow we will try to support them the best we can. Going back to school is a costly time of year for families and this year is no different,” Arcand said
Not only were backpacks filled with notebooks, crayons and binders but the families enjoyed a free barbeque, carnival and free haircuts for the children as they prepare to go back to school. STC has relied on a number of key sponsors in order to make the event a reality.
“We help because this is where we live. This is our community, not only financially but our staff are volunteers as well. In the current economic environment it is very tough for some families so if Nutrien can help we will, ” Ken Seitz, Nutrien Ceo and President added.
Tribal Chief Arcand says the goal next year is to double the number of backpacks to 4000.