150 backpacks donated to elementary students by local businesses

Kyra Dahlman | Hawkeye

Kyra Dahlman | Hawkeye

By Nick Fiorillo

When Mountlake Terrace Elementary school students return to school this fall, local businesses want them to have everything they need for a successful year.

The fourth year of the Mountlake Terrace Business Association (MLTBA) “Backpacks for Little Hawks Program” turned out to be their most successful year yet, donating 150 backpacks to Mountlake Terrace Elementary. The backpacks, filled with all the school supplies that students need, are given to families in need

“It’s a huge support to the families in our community,” Mountlake Terrace Elementary Principal Doug Johnson said. According to Johnson, 60 percent of MTE students are on free and reduced lunch, which shows why the backpack donations are so important to students. “School supplies is the one major financial hurdle we can’t take care of in our school system,” Johnson said.

In her first year of Backpacks for Little Hawks, new MLTBA President and General Manager of Studio 6 Ayesha Sheikh said that she was proud to be able to donate 20 backpacks more than last year.

Sheik said it’s very important for the businesses to give back. “The community gives so much to our businesses…it’s the least we can do,” Sheik said. “Giving to children especially, it’s an amazing feeling,” she said.

The total cost for one backpack was $15.50, which included all the supplies on the school’s back to school supply list. Mountlake Terrace businesses were the major sponsors of the program, but anyone could donate to the MLTBA for them to purchase backpacks and supplies. “I can’t thank everybody enough who donated,” Sheikh said.

The Mountlake Terrace Farmer’s Market, was one of the many largest sponsors of the program, donating 100 backpacks, according to Sheikh.

Johnson says that students and parents also are benefited simply by the community showing their support. “It’s not just about glue sticks and pencils and a backpack, but it’s about people caring about the kids and the families in our community,” Johnson said.

“It’s just wonderful how the community gets together to do things like this for other people in the community,” Sheikh said.

Sheikh says she plans to continue the program for many years.