Community supports and benefits from program |

Community supports and benefits from program

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Wayne Pierret organized a makeshift assembly line of Costco employees to stuff 450 backpacks donated by the company with an assortment of school supplies.

On Wednesday, he traveled to Carson City’s motels to help deliver the backpacks.

“I never knew there were this many kids in need here,” he said. “Seeing these kids with the backpacks is remarkable. They’re not even asking for the help, but when you hand it to them, their eyes light up.

“It’s like Christmas.”

For the past three years, Costco has donated backpacks and supplies to the school district’s homeless program.

“It feels good to be part of an organization that can provide these things and does provide them,” said Cheri Mariani, marketing manager. “It’s rewarding.”

A group of the store’s employees accompanied Kim Riggs, director of the school district’s Children in Transition program, to hand out the backpacks.

The program was established in 1987 under the federal Stewart B. Kinney Homeless Assistance Act. It is now funded through the No Child Left Behind legislation.

Riggs also brought along a supply of socks and underwear for children who needed them.

“I didn’t know they needed clothes,” said Costco’s Shannon Dearing. “If I’d have known, I would have been hitting all my neighbors up for their old things.”

The school district operates a clothes closet from which students can pick out donated clothing, shoes and hygiene supplies.

Riggs said she would like to expand it to include a traveling service where she could go to the motels and deliver necessary clothing and other items.

“That would be my ultimate dream,” she said. “But I would need a van to carry the clothes around in.

“Why shouldn’t every child start off the school year with new clothes?”

You Can Help:

To make a donation to the Children in Transition program, call Kim Riggs at 283-2053.