This morning, Salvation Army Indiana Divisional Commander, Major Richard Amick was pleased to accept 1,000 backpacks and school supplies from Huntington Bank on behalf of Indianapolis Public School children across the city. The donation is part of a 30,000 backpack donation throughout Huntington’s six-state service area.

Major Amick was all smiles accepting the donation saying, “times are every bit as challenging as they were last year, so it’s exciting to see the community rise up to help us reach out to IPS schoolchildren and give them the tools they need and the hope to succeed.”

In fact, in this its second year partnering with The Salvation Army, Huntington has more than doubled the backpack donation to Indianapolis schoolchildren. In fact, this year, The Salvation Army will distribute about 600 more backpacks than in 2009. Those backpacks, provided by Big Lots Inc. at a significantly reduced rate to Huntington Bank will be packed along with donated school supplies and given to children at Salvation Army community centers as well as the Women’s and Children’s Shelter and at least one IPS elementary school.  

Huntington knows how much of a financial strain school supplies can put on a family. Prior to each school year, Huntington Bank releases their annual Backpack Index to access the impact that the cost of school supplies and extracurricular activities has on families. According to the 2010 Index, it costs parents about $474 for elementary school, $545 for middle school and $1,000 for high school students to return to the classrooms. “Providing school supplies to Indiana children in need is a large part of what the Huntington Backpack Index is all about,” said Huntington Bank Central Indiana President Mike Newbold. “We not only want to call attention to the costs to send a child back to school prepared to learn, but also help out families who are having a difficult time making ends meet.”

The Salvation Army would like to thank Huntington Bank and Big Lots Inc. for their partnership.