Salvation Army passes out 4K backpacks to local families

SPOKANE, Wash. - Salvation Army backpacks distribution

If the Salvation Army was on your commute Friday morning you probably noticed the huge line of people outside as hundreds of Spokane families lined up to get a new backpack for the upcoming school year.

The Salvation Army has this process down pat: 4,100 backpacks filled with school supplies broken down by age group by nearly 100 volunteers in about a week.

For the families that get the backpacks before their kids go back to school it means the world to them.

It's a team effort to get the backpacks ready. Cenex ZipTrip, for example, provides a way of collecting donations. But they do much more than that, offering incentives for customers to give and playing a huge role in organizing the effort

"We can't do it without the folks in Spokane," Ian Johnstone, the general manager for Cenex Zip Trip, said.

For Johnstone, the importance of this cause was driven home by Spokane's former Salvation Army officer Captain Kyle Smith.

"Captain Kyle said it best. A kid going to school without a backpack is like a man going to work without a shirt and that's a great metaphor for what is going on here today," Johnstone said.

For the families on the receiving end, it helps them spread the back to school budget just a little further.

"This is a big help and I know it helps a lot of people in the community," parent Brian Stach said.

"Thank you and it is really appreciated. There is a lot of kids that don't get stuff like that so everything helps," parent Leticia Neal said.