Farmington Hills: Backpacks Distributed to Families in Need

Sep 16, 2022

As inflation soars and the cost of living continues to rise, families struggle to afford even basic necessities such as school supplies for their children. Thankfully, The Salvation Army Farmington Hills Corps Community Center distributes backpacks of school supplies to families in need every year. The backpacks are donated from a variety of locations, including Walmart, CVS, and miscellaneous donors who want to help out.

The Salvation Army social services coordinator, Amber Burmeister, packaged 20 backpacks Friday, containing notebooks, binders, pens, highlighters and more. Backpack recipients signed up in advance with their number of kids, ages and sex. Then Burmeister tailored the contents to their needs.

One recipient, Willie Fritz, picked up backpacks for her three grandchildren. “The book bags are going to be a big help,” she said. “It’s too expensive to go to Walmart, so this is good for me.”

Fritz has been a regular at Salvation Army events for many years and has been picking up school supplies off and on since 2015. “It’s like family here. If you need something, you can come here and they help you out.” 

Another backpack recipient was Jameika Martin who is newer to the program but is grateful for free school supplies in difficult economic times. “Someone shared the poster [for the event] on a Farmington Hills Facebook group, so I called the number on the poster and made an appointment… with two kids, this is going to help a lot.”

The Salvation Army Farmington Hills Corps Community Center is conveniently located in a neighborhood so those living nearby can even walk if they do not have reliable transportation. Backpack recipients also come from nearby Lanigan Elementary School and attend an after-school program called “Fusion,” which helps with homework and includes activities such as bible studies. “I like that we’re kind of central, not too far from downtown, or the neighborhoods,” Burmeister said.

While economic circumstances may still be difficult for many families, The Salvation Army Farmington Hills Corps Community Center is providing Love Beyond hardship for families with school-aged children.

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