Community Organizations Distribute Backpacks – Tri County Sentry


The Ventura Downtown Lions Club and the Ventura Rotary Club are ready to help the community. (Photo by Chris Frost)

Ventura – Members of the Ventura Downtown Lions Club and the Ventura Rotary Club rose early to help children on Saturday, August 20, as the groups joined forces to distribute backpacks to children in need at Ventura Unified School District (VUSD).

JHE groups filled hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for the coming year and delivered them to schools.

Steve Shaw of the Ventura Downtown Lions Club said the group has long been handing out backpacks to VUSD children.

“Rotary did that at the beginning, and we just took over with them,” he said. “We do it together now.”

He said this effort means 621 backpacks will be donated to the VUSD.

“We have a supplier, DollarDays (which has the school supplies), and we split the costs equally,” he said. “It cost over $8,000 this year. Right now, with inflation as it is, is a good time to give parents what it takes to get kids back to school.

Members of the Ventura Downtown Lions Club and the Ventura Rotary Club assemble backpacks for the Ventura County School District.  (Photo by Chris Frost)

Members of the Ventura Downtown Lions Club and the Ventura Rotary Club assemble backpacks for the Ventura County School District. (Photo by Chris Frost)

He said school districts tell them how many backpacks they need, which schools need the backpacks, and they fill the order.

“It’s a good thing,” Shaw said. “We serve the community we live in, and that’s all we seek. We are a service organization.

Rotary club president Margi Ray said the Rotary and Lions clubs believe that distributing backpacks is a worthy effort.

“We know, delivering these things to kids, that they wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for people like us saying there’s a need here, so let’s fill that need, and we’re doing it,” she said. “It does us good too.”

She said people who visit the Rotary Club to check it out are given a friendly welcome and welcome.

“They will see the diversity in the club and the backgrounds of the people, and we reflect the community,” Ray said. “Because we reflect the community, we reach out to people in the community and find out what the needs are. When we are able to meet these needs, we go beyond. We meet at the Poinsettia Pavilion at noon every Wednesday, and everyone is welcome.

Rotarian Jeff Lambert helped distribute backpacks and noted that giving back to the community is in his soul.

“We came to help you,” said Rotary Club of South Ventura President Jack Pollock. “My wife and some of my granddaughters will be coming here soon.”

He came to the event because he is helping parents of children who cannot get supplies.

“It gives kids a great start to the school year and gives them the confidence to come to class well-prepared,” he said. “Plus, it’s a great community event, and it gives us the opportunity to work with the president of the downtown club, Margi. Our Rotary clubs couldn’t be closer in terms of working relationships and understanding. We work as a transparent organization across Ventura.

Mary Sapeuto is a member of the Lions and Rotary clubs and was happy to come and help.

“I’m here to pack, so our children can go to school with what they need to start,” she said. “We have to take care of our children. They are going to make important decisions about us when you and I are going to gum oatmeal in a house, so we have to take care of them.

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