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'Welcome Backpack'

'Welcome Backpack' donations needed for NH military families

DURHAM &#-; The UNH Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program is seeking donations of items to fill "Welcome Backpacks" for families of deployed service members.

"Welcome Backpacks" are filled with family-friendly items such as movies and popcorn, gift and gas cards, board games, and outdoor fun items.

"The pack is filled with items intended to provide enjoyable activities the entire family can do together, increasing opportunities for communication and reconnection after an extended absence," said Charlotte Cross, extension youth and family specialist and director of the program. "Requests for "Welcome Backpacks" for returning military personnel are starting to roll in."

The first 50 backpacks are ready for delivery to military families as a result of a collaborative effort between the military program and Electronics for Imaging (EFI), a digital imaging company.

"Wendy Lague from the EFI office located in Meredith contacted us, asking what the company could do to support military youth and families in New Hampshire," said Jody Jackson, program coordinator. After hearing about the "Welcome Backpacks" effort, Lague thought it would be a good fit for the EFI Giving Tree Program.

Organizations, school groups or businesses interested in donating items for the backpacks or hosting a drive for backpack items should contact Jackson at 862-2297 or

The program's AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers Felicia Fowler and Anu Rayamajhi are available to help school groups, businesses, and community groups that would like to host backpack drives.



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