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Examiner
  • Backpacks stuffed with care

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  • In just 28 minutes, the lives of up to 1,000 students in Independence were changed for the better.
    Cargo for Kids, a non-profit initiative by Cargo Largo in Independence, hosted the annual “Stuffing Day” event on Saturday to provide backpacks full of school supplies to the estimated 1,000 children attending school in Independence that might face homelessness during the 2014-15 school year.
    Cargo for Kids was born from the answer to a simple question: “What can we do that would really make a difference?” Kelly Seiter, an employee at Cargo Largo, recalls pondering the answer to the question in a room with other employees at Cargo Largo five years ago.
    “We wanted to do something for the community,” said Seiter. Her team realized that they had access to an abundance of school supplies, “so we decided we wanted to impact children,” she said.
    As a result, Cargo for Kids was born. They host Stuffing Day annually, and Saturday marked the fifth year for the event.
    Under a large, white tent outside Cargo Largo, volunteers lined up at tables arranged in three long rows. Like a cafeteria line, volunteers on one side of the table remained stationary. They placed a specific item into a backpack held by a volunteer on the other side of the table who moved forward in a line until the backpack was stuffed full.
    In just 28 minutes, volunteers had filled 1,000 backpacks for students facing homelessness. “The great thing about it, is that… (Cargo Largo) can supply the supplies,” said Seiter. “The majority of (the supplies) come from our product, our freight.”
    Unlike other school supply programs, Cargo for Kids aims to provide supplies to students throughout the school year. “Children might go homeless in the middle of the year,” acknowledges Seiter.
    “It's an awesome opportunity to Cargo Largo,” said Seiter.

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