Bay High School students receive free, new backpacks

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Almost 11 months after Hurricane Michael, some local students are getting help as they head back to school.

Bay High School students received free backpacks from Blessings in a Backpack, as many of them continue to recover post-Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)

Blessings in a Backpack is partnering with Vera Bradley and Mercy Chefs to give bay county students free, new backpacks filled with school supplies and snacks.

"I definitely needed more folders, and then the snacks, you know, those always will help," said Trent Dean, Student at Bay High School.

More than 5,000 backpacks will be given to students who are still dealing with the aftermath of the storm.

"Our kids have nothing, I mean you drive around the area here at Bay High School and you see houses that are uninhabitable, you see apartment buildings that have not been repaired and there's nowhere for our students to live," said Billy May, Principal at Bay High School.

School leaders say the backpacks will go a long way for students who are in difficult living situations.

"Coupled with that the fact that they're having to live with neighbors, friends, relatives, or just couch surfing, then yeah, they need every hand up, that they can get, not hand out, but hand up, that they can get, they need it," said May.

Some of the students say getting something as small as a backpack makes a big difference.

"The supplies that I don't have is helping and coming in handy because, like, I don't have scissors or anything like that or crayons, and I don't have any folders. I didn't think to get any, but now that I have some I can separate my schoolwork more easily," said Chrisitianna Teague, a student at Bay High School.

May says this reminds students they are not forgotten, nearly a year after a category 5 hurricane hit.

"I think that's real important for these kids to know that, hey, yeah, school is a place to work, but it's also a place where we care about you and we want what's best for you," said May.

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