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Backpack-A-Thon Packs 35,000 Bags

Volunteers pitch in to get Philadelphia students ready for a new school year.

Employees pack backpacks in Philadelphia

More than 600 volunteers, including a 30-person team from biotechnology leader CSL Behring, packed 35,000 backpacks for children in need this week. The Backpack-A-Thon is an annual tradition coordinated by the nonprofit organization Cradles to Crayons.

An estimated 300,000 children in the Philadelphia region live in poor or low-income homes, according to the Cradles to Crayons website. The group says the backpacks, filled with pencils, notebooks and crayons, help give kids “the tools they need to translate their knowledge and creativity into confidence and academic success.” In addition to the backpacks, Cradles to Crayons distributes school clothes and shoes.

How do you keep 600 volunteers motivated for a full morning of work? A DJ provided high-energy tunes and Philadelphia sports mascots, the Phillie Phanatic and Swoop (from the Eagles), joined in the fun.

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