With many families struggling to get their children ready for in-person instruction during this unprecedented time, a local Samaritan is making sure families in need are being helped.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, officials with the Mission school district, Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce and the San Juan-based Cano and Sons Trucking Co. met to receive 1,033 backpacks, 25 of which were filled with school supplies, which will be donated to MCISD students.
“We’re accepting the generosity of the folks from Cano Trucking on behalf of over 1,000 of our students who will be able to have backpacks when they return to class,” MCISD spokesman Craig Verley said. “The backpacks will be evenly distributed among school campuses who will be in charge of giving them to students.”
Prior to the start of every school year, the school district and Mission Chamber of Commerce teamed up to hold a Back to School Bash to provide nearly 2,800 students with backpacks full of school supplies.
“This year, with all the complications of the Coronavirus, that wasn’t possible,” Verley said of the annual event. “It also impacted some of the fundraising on behalf of the chamber of commerce, but this donation will be this year’s equivalent of the bash.”
The GMCOC usually holds a golf tournament fundraiser in the spring to raise funds to purchase 2,000 backpacks to be given to the school district for the bash. This year, the tourney had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sarah Cano, co-founder of Cano Trucking Co. and new director of the GMCOC board, wanted to still be able to help Mission parents.
“I went to HEB and saw that they and other stores were having a sale on back to school supplies and realized I could still do something,” Cano said. “I bought as many backpacks as I could and then got in touch with the chamber and was able to buy another 1,005 backpacks. It feels exciting to do this. I know a lot of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic and there’s a lot of kids needing to get ready for school but it’s hard right now for parents.”
The generous donation from Cano Trucking is one the chamber is grateful for, Chamber CEO Brenda Enriquez said.
“The pandemic has changed the way we would normally socialize and fundraise for causes so this was a blessing,” Enriquez said. “We’re able to put smiles on over 1,000 students because of donors like Sarah. It’s philanthropy at its best.”