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100+ Backpacks Given To Students

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“Awesome,” is what sixth grader Timothy Alagna said about his new backpack stuffed with crayons, pencils, pens, paper, and a binder. He did not have a backpack before. Now he has a way to carry all of his books and supplies. Starting Over Inc. and Riverside All of Us or NONE teamed up on Sept. 1, 2012 at Castle Park Amusement Park to ensure disadvantaged children have the school supplies they need to be successes in school.

They stuffed backpacks with everything from highlighters to memory sticks. More than 100 children received backpacks and each child who received a backpack also received a pass to enter Castle Park and a voucher to Chick-fil-A for lunch. “It's so much a blessing for us right now because things are hard,” said Kindergartner Joel Camargo's mom Sandra.

She appreciates what was done for them. The two grassroots organizations focused on children with parents in prison or that have been incarcerated. These children have extensive social barriers when compared to their peers. “We want these kids to know they are loved, that someone out there cares about them,” said Starting Over Inc. Cofounder Vonya Quarles. “They have been through so much and they deserve this.”

Quarles wanted to thank the community for helping support the backpack giveaway. Volunteers from Corona Community African Methodist Episcopal Church and helped with the giveaway. “It's just nice to give back to our community,” said Wells Fargo employee Linda Garcia of Fontana. There was also a voter registration drive. Some registered to vote for the very first time. “My job is sort of on the line,” said 40-year-old home health care worker Maria Gallardo of Riverside who registered for the first time. “I have to make sure I keep my job.”

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