ITHACA, N.Y. – Buying school supplies fills some people with the nostalgia of new paper, crisp folders and sharpened pencils – unless buying school supplies is a financial burden.

That’s where Z95.5 steps in to help.

For the past five years, the radio station has teamed up with businesses to hand out backpacks full of school supplies to people who need them.

Morning show host Gabe , known as “Gabe on the Radio,” said that since the ‘Build Your Backpack’ campaign started, the goal has been the same: get as many school supplies to as many kids as possible.

The first year, that meant handing out about 50 backpacks with all the basic staples needed for school — folders, paper, pencils, crayons. Every year after that, the campaign has grown.

“They’re always really excited. The kids are excited. The parents are really gracious,” he said.

One of the best parts for him is seeing kids have the confidence to know that they will be able to start the school year off like other students, with everything they need to be successful.

This year, five stops were planned where he and his morning co-host “Nikki Zithaca” are handing out about 50 backpacks at each location. They’ve already handed out bags at the Ithaca Walmart and Thrifty Shopper. The three other opportunities to pick up backpacks are from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Tuesday at the McDonald’s in Cortland at 158 Clinton Ave., located along Route 13
  • Wednesday at the McDonald’s in Ithaca at 2350 N. Triphammer Road
  • Thursday at the CFCU Community Credit Union Cortland in the Tops Plaza along Route 281

The only stipulation to receive the backpack is that the child must be present and school aged.

Fidelis Care, CFCU Community Credit Union and Walmart worked with the radio station this year to help fund the project.

Featured photo courtesy of Flickr.