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Back2School Brigade prepares families for upcoming school year

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

The 28th Force Support Squadron hosted the Back2School Brigade to prepare families for the upcoming school year with basic supplies and necessities at Ellsworth AFB Aug. 15.

The team provided backpacks filled with pencils, pens and other school supplies to parents to help alleviate the stress of purchasing school items for their children.

“The Back2School Brigade is sponsored by the school liaison with help from Operation Home-front and many patrons in Rapid City [South Dakota],” said Frances Apland, the 28th FSS school liaison officer “We received 400 backpacks with school supplies delivered to Ellsworth, and members of the local community donated over $2,000 worth of school supplies to help support this event.”

Without volunteers to help organize, plan and execute its mission, the Back2School Brigade would not be possible.

“We had approximately 80 volunteers this year,” said Master Sgt. William Hyche III, the 28th FSS first sergeant. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without their help. They have been out here handing out backpacks and school supplies with smiles on their faces, and I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.”

Due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, some new installation members or others on quarantine were not able to take part in the event. Instead, the team came up with a plan to include the most amount of people possible.

“We kept some of the school supplies to give to members who were not able to make it because of COVID,” Apland said. “We are able to help more people with their back-to-school needs during the pandemic, and it’s a critical time because the school year is just around the corner, so it saves time so families can get their kids ready.”

Instead of an in-person event, the 28th FSS made the event into a drive-through to ensure minimal contact was made between the volunteers and individuals picking up school supplies.

“We are really happy we were able to host the event even with COVID-related issues,” said Lt. Col. Lisa Kazakos, the 28th FSS commander. “Some people might not want to go out to the store because of COVID and they can just come here and get most of what they need from their car.”

For those with children attending school this year, check out the story on the school liaison and information regarding the school year by visiting https://www.ellsworth.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2311046/base-school-liaison-officer-provides-info-resources-for-2020-school-year/

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