Backpacks for children in need

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The purple and orange backpack, said 6-year-old Leah Smerker, “Has a little pouch to put money in for it Fridays when we have ice cream.” Smerker was just one of the recipients of a backpack give-away, springing from the Caring for America initiative, held at El Cajon’s East County Transitional Living Center on Sept. 5.

Smerker, a 2nd-grader at Madison Elementary, was one of the school age youth who received backpacks donated by the San Diego County Federation of Republican Women.

The purple and orange backpack, said 6-year-old Leah Smerker, “Has a little pouch to put money in for it Fridays when we have ice cream.” Smerker was just one of the recipients of a backpack give-away, springing from the Caring for America initiative, held at El Cajon’s East County Transitional Living Center on Sept. 5.

Smerker, a 2nd-grader at Madison Elementary, was one of the school age youth who received backpacks donated by the San Diego County Federation of Republican Women.

James Merino, ECTLC’s director of family services said, “They are a wonderful organization that has been very helpful in finding needs and filling them at ECTLC.” 

“They have a sense of owning something new,” said Jo Medina-Alegria, with the Pregnancy Care Clinic and a member of the Cajon Valley Union School District Board, on what it will mean to the children. The backpacks also contained school supplies.

ECTLC Pastor Harold Brown said, “We currently have 62 families and about 118 are children.  The number of families fluctuates.”

Additionally, the American Red Cross was taking blood donations in one of ECTLC’s buildings. Xueli Stokes, a registered nurse with Team Support said, “We started at 9:15 a.m. Blood donations were collected on behalf of the hurricane victims and for other disasters across America.”

Two separate procedures were used in collecting the blood Stokes explained. “We separate the red blood cells and then return them to the donors.” The other manner was a straight blood donation. Up to 6 lives can be saved by separating the blood via their on-site machine. Stokes cited www.redcross.org to find out more about signing up as a blood donor. They are collecting for potential Hurricane Irma victims. 

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