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Rye Neighbors Provide School Supplies For Charity

RYE, N.Y. -- Just a few hours after Laura Pellegrini's niece arrived from San Francisco early Tuesday morning, they were out filling backpacks with school supplies for children in need."I thought this would be a nice thing to do instead of sleep all day," said Pellegrini.

Pellegrini and her niece, Viola Wallace, joined dozens of volunteers in the basement of the Ressurection Church to help prepare donated school supplies to be distributed by Rye non-profit Helping Hands for the Homeless & Hungry .

This year marks the 24th school supplies drive held by Helping Hands with 1,700 new backpacks to be donated, along with notebooks, pencils, rulers and other necessities."We want the kids to be proud and prepared on their first day of school," said Ellen Cacciapaglia, Helping Hands co-president.

The fully-stocked backpacks will go to children living in shelters, group homes and transitional living arrangements throughout Westchester County.Every year Helping Hands asks sends out requests for donations to purchase new school supplies. At a cost of $20 a backpack and adding in the cost of supplies, well over $35,000 was raised this year from private donors.

"It's great for people to come down and volunteer," said Brigitte Sarnoff, Helping Hands co-president. "Of course, we need the help, but they can also see how their money has been spent."

Viola, 11, may not have contributed any money, but she gave her time and effort to help out in place she was just visiting."It's nice to give others a chance to do things that we don't have to worry about," said Viola.

What do you think about Helping Hands?