KIDS provides backpacks for families for the 2023-2024 school year

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A new school is right around the corner, and community members are doing their best to make sure that children have the supplies that need for a great start to a new year. Mike Letica hosted an annual KIDS (Keep Investing in Duluth Schools) backpack drive for any and everyone in the community and beyond to get supplies for their children.

“I was visualized like maybe my grandkids, like going to school and not being able to have the simple things like a backpack and supplies heading into their school, heading into the first class. Maybe being one out of the entire classroom that doesn’t have just the essentials they need. So, I’m trying to make sure that no one has no kid has that uncomfortable feeling about being the only one that doesn’t have what they need to get through the school day,” said Letica, owner of Famers Insurance.

Every year, he shares how this drive is appreciated by everyone and how it is all a community movement.

“I always get feedback from on Facebook and I get messages and I get text messages. People are appreciative of this. All day long, all week long, all month long. People are always thanking me for different things, but it’s I’m just the coordinator. It’s the community that makes this happen. Without the community, this wouldn’t be happening today.”

He was joined by several volunteers who were just as excited as the families themselves, who stopped by and were filled with stories of people expressing their appreciation for this event and the community support.

“Duluth is a city that cares for each other whether it’s the school district itself trying to do the best for kids or people like Mike and Shirley, who are just stepping up and making sure that nobody goes without. Everybody has a chance to succeed. Everybody has a chance to put their best foot forward and have a great school year. It’s wonderful to see them,” Arik Forseman shared.

Letica and all the volunteers had a goal of giving out more than 400 backpacks.