Back-to-school plans are still uncertain for many families, but 300 Alberta children will have all the school supplies they need this September.
Over the weekend in Edmonton and Calgary, volunteers with Islamic Relief Canada stuffed backpacks full of school supplies for elementary school students from low-income families.
"We do this back to school campaign in order to provide a little bit of excitement for the children going back to school and to provide some relief for the families as back to school expenses can really accumulate," said program co-ordinator Maisam Kadri.
"We hope that this will help the families in our community."
On Sunday, volunteers flocked to the C5 North East Hub in Edmonton to pack the brand new backpacks with notebooks, scissors, calculators, pencils, face masks and hand sanitizer.
The C5 building houses a network of social service agencies includingthe Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Terra Centre for Teen Parents and Parent Link Centre, Boyle Street Community Services.
In Edmonton, the assembled backpacks will be given to the C5 North East Hub, the Africa Centre, and the Somali Canadian Women & Children Association for distribution in Edmonton. In Calgary, the backpacks will be given to the Centre for Newcomers to distribute.
The volunteers hope the bags give a little bit of relief to families after such a tough year, Kadri said.
"When we deal with the organizations, they're very grateful," Kadri said.
"They're always so happy that the community is thinking of others, especially in this time where families are not really sure what their back to school plans look like."