081513 23rd Annual Project Pencil underway at St. Vincent de Paul locations (250)

LACONIA — The Children's Foundation of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is pleased to announce its' 23nd Annual Project Pencil Program.

Sue Page, a volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Children's Foundation stated, "The need this year is greater than ever before. I have received requests from School Nurses, Guidance Counselors and Case Managers for approximately 600 backpacks, filled with school supplies. They are also asking for personal hygiene items and under garments for the families struggling to make ends meet and are trying to provide these children with the basic necessities."

Beginning in 1990, Project Pencil worked with local case workers who knew of a few area families that needed help with back to school supplies for their children. Project Pencil will now assist 600 school age children this September. This program was designed to assist area school children by providing them with backpacks, lunchboxes, and other back-to-school supplies. Because of the many families needing a helping hand, they are also helping with personal hygiene items. Project Pencil benefits students in public, private and parochial schools, child care centers, nursery schools, elementary, middle and high schools, in Laconia, Gilford, Belmont, Gilmanton and Tilton.

Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation or school supplies to Project Pencil can stop by the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 1269 Union Avenue in Lakeport (next to McDonald's), or by mail to P.O. Box 6123, Laconia, NH. The Citizen, a community partner, has offered to collect donations at their office on Fair Street in Laconia. The SVDP Thrift Store hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Backpacks will be delivered to the neighborhood schools one week before the start of school. Those families needing help may contact their child's school or child care center for information. All names are kept confidential.