Backpacks N July to help children

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2018

Later this month, a fundraising effort will take place at Crosby Commons to ensure that disadvantaged children will have what they need to enter the upcoming school year.

The event is being called Backpacks N July, and was devised by Danny Zimmerli, a member of the Life Church, after he took a sermon to heart. The message in the sermon was to seek ways to give, rather than receive.

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After thinking about it for a while, he did some research and found a need within the Pearl River County School District for school supplies.

Now, Zimmerli is organizing a four-hour long fundraising event that will feature live music, food vendors and craft vendors. Zimmerli also said that there will be activities for children such as face painting and bounce houses.

A local fire department will provide a fire safety expo and there will be booths set up to promote child health and safety awareness.

Schooner the Seagull, the Biloxi Shuckers’ mascot, is also expected to make an appearance at the event, Zimmerli said.

The event will be held on July 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crosby Commons in Picayune. Entrance to the event can be paid for with cash, or through donations of a backpack, toiletries or school supplies.

Once the event is complete, Zimmerli said the donations will be compiled to fill 300 backpacks with school supplies for disadvantaged students attending the Picayune and Pearl River County school districts. Other items to be included in the backpacks include toiletries and snacks.

Raffles will also be held to raise money to buy the supplies needed to fill the backpacks, including tickets to a Shuckers game, or gift cards to local businesses.

Food will also be for sale, including popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, hot dogs, hamburgers, Frito pie and pizza.

If he can raise enough funds, Zimmerli would also like to help those children obtain school uniforms.

Once the backpacks are filled and ready for delivery, Zimmerli said he will work with employees of the two school districts to find the students in the most need.

Anyone who wants to donate but cannot attend the event can do so via the Life Church’s website at