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Eagle Packs for Kids program a success

Wednesday, August 22, 2007  
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By PATTY MILLER
THE EDMOND SUN

"Eagle Packs for Kids" is a new project sponsored by the Office for Alumni Relations at Oklahoma Christian University. Alumni Relations provided 600 backpacks for children in the Oklahoma City Public School system and three Edmond ZIP codes.

"Working in conjunction with the G.O.A.L.S. (Greater Oklahomans Achieving Lifelong Success) project, our goal was to provide 1,000 backpacks for underprivileged kids in the Oklahoma City area," said Michael Mitchell, director for OC Alumni Relations.

"This is a great way for alumni to get involved with OC while giving back to the community."

Mitchell was approached by Diana Johnson from G.O.A.L.S., and asked if the university could help by supplying backpacks.

"I asked how many do you need, and she said 500. We ended up giving away 600 backpacks and could have given away more," Mitchell said.

For every $8 donated to this program, OC's Office for Alumni Relations was able to provide a new backpack complete with an OC logo for the back of one student.

The program was targeted for kindergarten through 12th-grade students who are listed as receiving medical services with the Department of Human Services Kelly office.  

"We raised close to half of the money, and an anonymous corporate sponsorship paid for the rest," Mitchell said.

In addition to the backpacks provided by OC alumni, students, faculty and staff, G.O.A.L.S. also provided immunization shots and vision/hearing screenings among other things.

"Handing out backpacks really fits with our mission and what we do here at Oklahoma Christian. Our graduates bring hope to the world." Mitchell said.

Lining up at 6 a.m., 2,000 people, mostly elementary students and their parents, waited in line for a backpack. All of the backpacks were given away by 1 p.m.  

"What made it even more precious was the fact that our County Director, Milton Roosevelt, was the first African-American graduate from Oklahoma Christian University," Johnson said.

"I would like to say a great big 'shout out' (thank you) and kudos to OC for the beautiful custom-made backpacks provided for the children.

"Because of them and their dedication this program became reality and a success in itself."

Donations are being taken for next year's Back to Blast. To make a donation by check, make the check to Oklahoma Christian University with "Backpacks for Kids" on the memo line.

The school's mailing address is: Oklahoma Christian University, Office for Alumni Relations, 2501 E. Memorial Road, Edmond, OK 73013.

To see pictures from this year's event, click here.


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