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Marion’s Backpack Buddies program receives largest Christmas donation
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Marion’s Backpack Buddies program receives largest Christmas donation


MARION, S.C. — More than a dozen local business provided Marion High School teachers and Backpack Buddies of Marion County program organizers Scott Collins, Maribeth Osborn and Sydney Hooks with its largest Christmas donation Friday.

Volunteers unloaded a truck filled with food items in an effort to help students receive food security.

“If it weren’t for the support of the community we couldn’t do the things that we’re able to do,” Collins said. “It takes all of the community helping us out. We are so appreciative of folks like Anderson Brothers Bank, local churches and civic groups that help us out and provide those foods for us all year long.”

Osborn called it a partnership and said more than 120 students are served a week, receiving backpacks filled food. Each backpack contains five entrees, a piece of fresh fruit, a fruit cup, a box of raisins, a juice and bottle of milk, two breakfasts, and three snacks.

“Just from this donation alone it will probably be 16 weeks where they have fed all of our hungry children in Marion County Schools,” Osborn said. “It’s amazing.”

Anderson Brothers Bank sponsored the food and donations drive led by former Marion High School student Steph Byrd. More than 15,000 food items were collected. Anderson Brothers Bank also donated $5,000 to the program along with $700 contributed from Mullins small businesses.

The Backpack Buddies program has been serving children for the past seven years. President Sydney Hooks said the program is responding to a need.

“This is a massive donation that is going to help tremendously,” Hooks said. “We’re thankful for our community.”

Marion High School Principal Daris Gore was happy to see the team effort.

“I think the Backpack Buddies program has been a godsend to our community and the students here at Marion High School,” Gore said. “The staff working with other organizations with the donations has been very beneficial for our students. We’re grateful and we’re thankful for everybody’s love and support to our county and our schools.”

Osborn said due to the COVID-19 pandemic they’re delivering more food schools where they are distributed directly.

Collins said he is grateful for the help.

For more information call 843-423-1811.

Backpack Buddies 2020 Christmas Donors

Anderson Brothers Bank

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Smith’s Grocery

Drew Foil

Liberty Gun

La Salon on Main

Keith’s Collectables

210 Antiques

The Barn

Lilly K’s

IGA Mullins

Food Lion

Family Dollar in Mullins

Ace Hardware in Mullins

Fowlers Furniture

Fast C Express

The George Agency

Piggly Wiggly

Marion Self Storage

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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