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Rotary Backpacks

CCAR clients and members of the Charleston Rotary Club again this year are providing backpacks for local foster children.

CHARLESTON -- Members of the Charleston Rotary Club recently joined with CCAR clients and staff for the annual "stuffing of the backpacks.”

The backpacks go to foster children for the upcoming school year loaded with the supplies they will need for school, and some fun things too.

Charleston Rotary first partnered with CCAR Industries in recognition of Rotary's 100th anniversary in 2005 to pack 100 backpacks for children entering the foster care system in the Charleston area. The club has continued to do this every year since. Charleston Rotarian Lyla McGuire, also the director of CCAR, first organized the event and continues to recruit the club members each year.

Many of the children served through the project start the school year with no possessions. CCAR Industries traditionally purchases the back packs and the Charleston Rotary Club provides $300 in financial support. This funding, along with donations from other community members, is used to purchase the items that go into the backpacks.

Since its inception, this project has provided 1,157 backpacks for foster children of all ages.

CCAR Industries is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded by a local parents’ group in 1969. Its mission is to provide community-based services and support that enhance the quality of life of East Central Illinois citizens with developmental disabilities and/or other functional limitations.

The Charleston Rotary Club meets at noon on Tuesdays in the Rotary Room of the Charleston Public Library. Charleston Rotary presents leadership awards to Jefferson Elementary School students, sponsors the Charleston High School Interact Club, honors the top 10 graduates, provides a scholarship to a CHS graduate attending Eastern Illinois University and sponsors Rotary Youth Exchange students.

In addition, the club partnered with several organizations to plant trees at EIU and at Lake Charleston as part of Arbor Day.

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