Update: Hundreds of backpacks for needy students located

Nearly 700 backpacks are missing, feared stolen

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Garden City Salvation Army says thousands of dollars in missing backpacks meant for needy children have been located.

The Garden City Police Department said the backpacks are in a warehouse in Kansas City. The backpacks will be delivered within the next few days.

The backpacks are for a Stuff the Bus event, which gives school supplies to more than 1,000 low-income students in Finney County.

KSN is working to find how out how the backpacks ended up there.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Salvation Army in Garden City is missing thousands of dollars in backpacks meant for needy children. It’s a blow to a program meant to help low-income kids be ready for school next month.

“They were supposed to be here by the 7th of July,” said Jeff Curran with the Salvation Army in Garden City.

Nearly 700 backpacks are now missing.

“Today I called the company that we ordered them from,” said Curran on Monday, and [the company] said that they were delivered on the 6th of July, but we don’t have them.”

The backpacks are for a Stuff the Bus event, which gives school supplies to more than 1,000 low-income students in Finney County.

County residents donated a range of school supplies over the weekend, meant to fill the missing backpacks.

“[I’m] hoping that they’ll turn up,” said Curran, “we’ll find them, because I can’t imagine 700 kids going without backpacks, school supplies this year.”

The delivery was signed for on a Thursday between 6 and 6:30 p.m., but the Salvation Army closes at 4 p.m.

Curran says he doesn’t recognize the name that signed for it.

“We have a total of seven employees here, so to have one not at the top of my mind would be kind of hard to do.”

The backpacks cost about $3,000, and the Salvation Army says they’re short on funds at the moment.

Curran hopes it was an innocent mistake and they were delivered to the wrong address.

”I don’t want to say we’re devastated at this point, but we’re still uncertain as to what’s going to happen.”

Curran says the Salvation Army filed a report with the police, and both the backpack and shipping company are also looking into the situation to see what might have gone wrong.

The clock is ticking, because the backpacks are supposed to be given to low-income students on August 2.


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