“Old Backpack 4 Iraq” Program

Some Low Country students are helping our troops in Iraq build better relationships with Iraqi children. They're collecting old backpacks and school supplies for the troops to give to the kids. Once students at Thomas Heyward Academy heard South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC Dist. 2) was collecting new and used backpacks filled with school supplies and toiletries for the Iraqi children, they got on board.

"When they found out they could help other children in Iraq, they jumped up to it and so far they've collected over 100," said teacher Beth Felder.

Although it initially started out as an extra credit project, these students quickly realized the importance of this humanitarian effort. The 3/178 Field Artillery Battalion of the South Carolina Army National Guard, stationed in Iraq, began the "Old Backpack 4 Iraq" program as a way to reach out to Iraqi children.

"I thought it would be real nice to give back to the kids of Iraq and give them things they don't have over there," said Thomas Heyward student Michael Bogan.

"It could give privileges to kids that don't have what we have," added fellow student Jake Littleton.

Congressman Wilson's son is in the unit collecting the backpacks and says it only proves the difference our troops are making. "By collecting backpacks and school supplies, our troops are working one on one with the people of Iraq and showing them America is there to help build a democracy and will help protect the US from terrorist attacks," he said.

Congressman Wilson is hoping to bring all the backpacks with him on his next trip to Iraq.

If you'd like to contribute, you can stop by 903 Port Republic Street in Beaufort, SC 29909, or call 843-521-2530.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com