Special to the Times-Free Press
Employees at the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) joined together this year to help prepare students in neighboring communities for the upcoming school year. Ninety-six students from local organizations in East Boston, South Boston and Winthrop were gifted with new backpacks, school supplies and clothes donated by Massport employees through their annual Backpack Project.
“Back-to-school costs can be a burden on a lot of families and through the Backpack Project, we are able to make the process of returning to the classroom less stressful and more enjoyable,” said Massport Director of Community Relations & Government Affairs Alaina Coppola. “We are grateful to our employees who are always willing to lend a hand to our neighbors in need. Seeing the joy on the students’ faces when they receive these backpacks is an unmatched feeling, and we wish them the best in the school year ahead.”
Now in its fourteenth year, the Backpack Project is Massport’s annual back-to-school drive aimed at assisting local families in need. Participating organizations this year included Crossroads Family Center in East Boston, Condon Community Center in South Boston, East Boston YMCA, South Boston Neighborhood House and 21st Century Afterschool Program in Winthrop.
“We are so grateful to be a part of the Backpack Project,” said Winthrop Public Schools/21st Century Afterschool Program Cathy DelVento. “Thank you to Massport and the employees who donated backpacks and school supplies this year.”
This year, over 125 Massport employees participated in the Backpack Project by sponsoring children between the ages of 4 and 17, individually or as a group, and providing them with school supplies and a new outfit for the school year.