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Back 2 School Basics sets up local students with school supplies

Volunteers at a past Back 2 Basics show school supplies they helped provide for area children.
Christian Center of Park City
Volunteers at a past Back 2 School Basics show school supplies they helped provide for area children.

At a time of rising costs for many essentials, local students in the Wasatch Back are benefiting from a back-to-school shopping program.

This week, children in Summit and Wasatch counties will do some shopping before they return to school this month.

Wednesday through Friday, over 1,400 students will receive $100 gift cards from the Christian Center of Park City, along with backpacks filled with supplies.

“I think the best thing about this program is that it really provides empowerment where these kids get to choose what they want,” says Rob Harter, executive director of the Christian Center of Park City. “They could pick out their own shoes, their own jeans, and pick up the cool stuff that they want with the idea that hopefully, when they start the school year, they just feel that little bit more extra confidence.”

He says some participating stores help stretch the $100 by offering discounts to the Back 2 School Basics program shoppers.

The shopping is taking place at the Outlets Park City mall as well as the Heber City WalMart. About 50 of the students live in Wasatch County, and they’ll do their shopping Thursday.

Volunteers with the Christian Center will stuff backpacks, organize school supplies and help kids shop.

Anyone who wants to lend a hand, either by showing up or donating, is welcome. The Christian Center reported it was still about $20,000 short of its fundraising goal this week.

The initiative comes at a time of increasing need. Harter says demand for his organization’s services is up, especially at the food pantry.

Harter says in the past three months, the community demand for the Christian Center food pantry has jumped 15%. Meanwhile, he says it’s receiving fewer donations.

For more information about the Christian Center of Park City and its programs like Back 2 School Basics, visit ccofpc.org.

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