Merced County Times Newspaper
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Love INC helps local families get ready for school

Karen Macedo, incoming President of the Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Club, is flanked by some of the 45 backpacks the club donated to Love INC’s back to school drive.
Karen Macedo, incoming President of the Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Club, is flanked by some of the 45 backpacks the club donated to Love INC’s back to school drive.

For the tenth consecutive year, Love INC of Merced County conducted a back-to-school drive this summer.

Their goal was 200 backpacks and all other kinds of school supplies. From the looks of the stacks of materials being stored, it appears they made this year’s goal.

One recent and significant donation was presented by Karen Macedo, incoming President of the Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Club. She, dropped off 45 backpacks to the staging area. This donation started with a pledge of $500 from the club’s board of directors, but Macedo wanted to do more. She visited local businesses and gained support. For example, the Merced Target store donated $200 to the project. All told, the Kiwanis Club’s donation totaled $860 for backpacks.

Love INC of Greater Merced serves the communities of Merced, Atwater, Planada, Winton & Le Grand. Within those communities there are 32 church partners that provide resources to people in need and volunteer assistance. Love INC serves as a liaison among individuals, agencies, organizations and churches who desire to reach out and serve those in need.

This summer’s back to school drive culminated at a BBQ “Back to School Bash” at the First Baptist Church of Merced on Aug. 3. It featured free food, free haircuts, a water slide, prizes, and of course the free backpacks.

Love INC volunteers Annette Macias and Susan Cowan said that they are really grateful to the Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Club and others who helped make this year’s drive a success. They mentioned churches, service clubs such as Rotary, individuals and the Women’s Spotlight Network.

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