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Salvation Army to give away school supplies to hundreds of kids on Tuesday

Salvation Army hosts back-to-school events

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A nationwide charity is looking to make sure Indianapolis families are prepared for the upcoming school year.

The Salvation Army of Indiana in Fountain Square is hosting a school supply distribution event Tuesday afternoon.

During the giveaway, school-aged kids can pick out their own backpacks, crayons, notebooks, pencils, and more.

Major Melinda O’Neil with the Salvation Army says events like these fit right into their mission.

“We’re just really wanting to make sure that the school supplies and backpacks get in the hands and backs of kids,” O’Neil said. “(So) that they’re all equipped to return to school in a couple of weeks.”

The Salvation Army will also distribute shoes and socks to about 200 kids. However, registration for shoes is closed for this event.

Organizers say the shoe giveaway initiative was made possible by a long-time donor, Laura Lewis. She passed away in 2023, and the group hopes to continue her legacy.

“Thirty years or so ago, Laura Lewis had found success as an adult,” O’Neil said. “(She) decided that she would help kids who didn’t have the means or the access to shoes and things to go back to school. (She had) grown up with limited resources herself, (she) really had a soft spot for kids in that way.”

The nonprofit teams up with area school districts to help them identify families who might be in need.

O’Neil says they hope to do at least one more school supply drive before the summer ends.

“If you still want to donate, you can still drop your donations off at the Salvation Army,” O’Neil said. “We will go where the need is.”

The Fountain Square Salvation Army is located at 1337 Shelby St. Bookbag distribution starts at 3 p.m. and runs through 6 p.m.