According to a press release, Verizon-Cellular Plus in Casper will be giving away free backpacks filled with school supplies on Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

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President Adam Kimmet said:

"We are thrilled to be able to give back to our local community and help students kick off the school year with a brand-new backpack. Our goal is to help make it a little easier for families to get these essential supplies so that students can start off the school year prepared and confident."

Christie Nelson, store manager for Cellular Plus on 2nd street, said each backpack is about $8, and to date they have received around $250 in donations, which is lower than they usually get.

The backpacks are filled with a variety of school supplies for people K-12, from notebook to pens to pencils to crayons to glue sticks to folders to erasers to pencil cases.

Nelson said in the four years they've done the giveaway, they usually get around $500 in donations, but have gotten less this year due in part to the pandemic.

"This year we don't have as much, we've had a lot of donations in the past, and I get that people are going through tough times right now, but we try to give back and help kick off the year with a brand new backpack and help. We've definitely had years where we've had better donations, but from the year we've had I kind of understand that."

Nelson said Verizon-Cellular Plus received donations from employees and customers, along with business partners like Taco Johns.

Children must be present with an adult to claim the backpacks which are given out on a first come first serve basis, with Nelson saying they are usually sold out within half an hour.

The backpacks will be given out at both Cellular Plus locations in Casper at 2235 CY Avenue and at 3833 East 2nd Street.

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