Fashion Outlets hosting backpack giveaway | Local News

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA is once again teaming with the Salvation Army, United Way of Greater Niagara, and the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies.

The give-out will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. today. Members from those organizations will hand out 500 backpacks to local students inside Entrance 6, near the Saks Off 5th and Forever 21 stores. Up to 40 volunteers will be on hand helping throughout the day, including this year’s Niagara County Peach Queen contestants.

Fashion Outlets’ Marketing Manager Sue Swiatkowski said the backpacks will have everything kids need for school, including paper, folders, pens, pencils, and highlighters. There will be all different kind of backpacks too, some plain and some with characters on them, to appeal to kids of all ages.

“Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” she said. “We encourage people to be here closer to one than five.”

Students anywhere from pre-K to 12th grade must be in attendance to receive a backpack and will only be available while supplies last.

Last year, there were 350 backpacks on hand, with some left over part of this year’s giveaway. Swiatkowski said this is getting a lot more promotion this year, so they hope to give them all out tomorrow.

Also happening today, a public mural project outside entrance 3, by Chico’s and Old Navy, will be going on from noon to 3 p.m. Anyone stopping by to pick up a backpack is encouraged to help finish the mural for free. The theme of the mural is, “Kindness is fashionable.”

“We’re trying to get people to go through the mall and feel good about going back to school,” Swiatkowski said, with stores in the mall having their own back to school sales.

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