September 09, 2015 06:23 PM
DULUTH, Minn. - The same thick stitches and durable fabric that characterize Duluth Pack bags and accessories are going to be accented by a new custom patch this fall - it reads "Myers-Wilkins Student."
Thanks to an anonymous donor who approached Duluth Pack in December, all of Myers-Wilkins second graders will receive Duluth Pack backpacks. They'll come with luggage tags, and the students can choose from five different colors.
"We thought it was a great idea, and we love that they came to us with the idea," Ryan Hanson, a Duluth Pack sales representative, said.
Around 200 manufacturing hours will go into creating the backpacks for the kids.
"It'll be a unique piece for each student that they'll be able to remember their time at Myers-Wilkins and then a bag that they'll be able to have hopefully the rest of their lives," Hanson said.
Hanson estimates the backpacks will add up to a retail value of about $20,000.
"We see pictures of kids with bags when they go off to kindergarten, and then the same bag when they graduate from college, which is so cool to see," Hanson said. "So I'm hoping a lot of these kids will send us pictures in maybe 10, 15 years graduating from college with the same backpacks."
Myers-Wilkins principal Stephanie Heilig said she hopes it's the start of something the kids will appreciate for awhile.
"I have never, in my 40 years, ever had a donation like this. No. And I mean, this is going to be so life-changing for our kids," Heilig said.
And it makes the back-to-school transition for families seamless too.
"The parents are so excited because they know the significance of a Duluth Pack backpack," Heilig said. "So the parents have been calling and they're in disbelief that this is really happening, and they're so appreciative."
In a school where many children and families struggle every day, these backpacks will truly make a difference.
"We have anywhere between 83 and 85 percent of our students living in poverty. And so even to buy a backpack for so many of our families is really hard financially," Heilig said.
Duluth Pack's lifetime quality guarantee helps ensure that the second graders can hang on to the backpacks, even if they get a little abused. They'll be able to get zippers repaired and patches replaced at no cost.
"And it also shows to our families how kind people are and how generous they are and how much they think of their children," Heilig said.
Duluth Pack expects to deliver the backpacks next week.
Updated: September 09, 2015 06:23 PM
Created: September 09, 2015 05:16 PM
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