Backpacks to go back to school

450 given out to local families to start year

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland Julie Harman, human resource leader for Novelis in Warren, left, assists Breanna Harris, 6, of Warren, select a backpack filled with school supplies Thursday at the Warren Family Mission. Novelis purchased the backpacks and school supplies for more than 450 local children.

WARREN — Elijah Williamson-Moore, 7, of Warren, likes sharks, so finding a backpack with sharks on it was exactly what he was looking for during a school supply giveaway Thursday at the Warren Family Mission.

Elijah will be in the second grade when classes resume in the Warren City School District Aug. 22.

He was among hundreds of area children who received backpacks filled with school supplies from the Warren Family Mission and Novelis, which joined together for the fourth year in a row to distribute backpacks.

His mother, Tiara Williamson-Moore, said with the many bills to pay and other expenses for school, getting the school supplies helped.

”It is a big help. They need so much for school. He likes his backpack. I know he likes sharks. He has been watching shark movies on TV,” she said.

Dominic Marrari, public relations director with the mission, said more than 450 backpacks filled with school supplies were distributed.

”There is a need as many families struggle. We wanted to make sure the children had what they needed to be successful in school with calculators, rulers, notebooks, hand sanitizer,” he said.

Julie Harman, human resources leader with Novelis — a global company with a Warren location handling rolled aluminum products and recycling — said $10,000 was spent for the backpacks and school supplies.

”We divided them up so each age level had the school supplies they would need. Novelis finds ways to help give back and help in the community where they operate. We have partnered with the mission. This may be our biggest year,” Harman said.

Anastasia Cox, 9, of Warren, was looking for a bright-colored backpack that she was able to find with help from her friend, Tas’hayla Reed, 8, of Warren.

”I wanted to be ready for school. I found what I was looking for,” Cox said.

In addition to the backpacks, children and their families also received pizza from Ianazone’s Pizza of McDonald, which made 150 pizzas or 1,200 slices.

Jim Ianazone said each child received a slice of pizza and a box of pizza was given to each family to take home.

”I know Dominic and he mentioned the backpack giveaway. We wanted to help the local families any way we could,” he said.