New Tech students team with FW Rescue Mission to collect backpacks, supplies

Viking New Tech students at Huntington North High School will join with the Rescue Mission of Fort Wayne to collect backpacks and supplies for distribution to those in need.

The students are working with the Backpacks of Hope program, established in memory of Huntington resident John Zachery Septer.

The students will accept donations on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Door 3 of HNHS.

The students will be accepting donations of new backpacks along with the items that will be placed in each backpack. Those items include a blanket, hat, gloves, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap or body wash, lotion, foot powder, water, nonperishable food items and socks.

Cash donations are also accepted. They can be dropped off at PNC Bank, designated for Backpacks of Hope, or mailed to HNHS Viking New Tech, 450 MacGahan St., Huntington, IN 46750. Checks should be made out to Backpacks of Hope.

Septer, who was 21 when he died on Dec. 2, 2011, had spent the year prior to his death living among and befriending homeless people in Fort Wayne. In his memory, his family collected about 50 backpacks and filled them with items that people in need could use during the winter.

The backpacks, along with coats and food, were distributed at the Rescue Mission of Fort Wayne just before Christmas last year. More than 200 people showed up to request one of the 50 backpacks.

Backpacks of Hope will again be given out at the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission on Dec. 20. Because Septer also volunteered at a soup kitchen in Huntington, some of the backpacks will also be distributed through that site.