Cartersville Elementary School received a much-needed donation for spring semester.
Members of the Theta Omicron Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority presented 67 new backpacks to CES Principal Melissa Bates during the latter half of winter break in December.
“I think it’s a wonderful way for the sorority to support our school,” Bates said. “At the beginning of the second semester, many students are in need of these backpacks after the demand of first semester. So, the AKA sorority’s timing was just perfect.”
Past Vice President McKensey Wheeler and members Kristin Hall and Ruby Morgan, who notified Bates about the donation, brought the backpacks to the school just before second semester began as part of the sorority’s One Million Backpacks initiative.
“The One Million Backpacks initiative, designed to promote the learning process by providing substantial support to students, is part of the sorority’s mission of promoting health, strengthening families and taking responsibility for the environment,” chapter President Sherry Turner said. “As part of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s One Million Backpacks initiative, which has the goal of donating and distributing one million backpacks and related school supplies globally over a four-year period, the members of the Theta Omicron Omega chapter accepted the charge to serve.”
Sorority members collected the backpacks for a month before delivering their first-time donation to the school, Turner said.
“Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s presence continues to be felt across northwest Georgia,” she said. “Theta Omicron Omega chapter is unique in that the sorority’s programs are provided in four counties in the northwestern area of Georgia encompassing Bartow, Carroll, Polk and Floyd counties. Chapter members were committed to their love for all mankind, and this motivated them to contribute their time, talents and resources to make life better for others. The chapter is committed to providing the sorority’s national initiatives in all four areas.”
Bates said students will be selected to receive a new backpack, some filled with additional school supplies like paper, pencils and journals, by teacher and/or counselor recommendations.
“They make note of the condition of students’ backpacks and other school supplies,” she said. “Also, students in need can request a backpack.”
A number of students already have been given one of the backpacks, according to Bates.
“Students were thrilled to receive a new backpack,” she said. “They were very thankful to AKA sorority.”
Bates added her thanks to the sorority for its “generous donation and for believing in CES.”
The backpack initiative is one of the programs of service the sorority has implemented since 1908 to impact “countless lives,” Turner said.
“Our sorority’s founders used their collective strength to promote academic excellence, provide support to those in need and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in our communities,” she said.
Since the initiative began in 2014, Theta Omicron Omega members have been “hard at work collecting backpacks and filling them with school supplies, healthy nonperishable food items and hygiene products to help children in our communities to be successful in school,” Turner said.
“Members have been asked to donate at least five backpacks each or make monetary donations to this worthy cause,” she said. “Over the last three years, the Theta Omicron Omega chapter has donated and/or distributed over 750 backpacks.”