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Volunteers At Unity On The Bay Stuff Thousands Of Backpacks For Kids In Need

More than 60 volunteers gathered at Unity on the Bay in Miami to stuff backpacks Friday morning--more than 5,000 of them, according to Achilles Ballestas, one of the event's organizers.

The backpacks are for kids in need going back to school in South Florida and Haiti. 

"Recently it's taken a snowball effect," said Ballestas. "It's gone from a couple hundred [per year] to thousands." They've been stuffing backpacks every year for about a decade. 

Volunteers formed an assembly line complete with rulers, pencils, pens, glue sticks, and notebooks.

"My boss let me off work," said Trudy Freeman. She was helping to direct volunteers as they put finished backpacks in chairs in the church's main congregation space. "As I can help, that's good. I want to help."

Turnberry Associates and Keller Williams Miami Beach were among the event's corporate sponsors.

Volunteers at @unityonthebay stuff an estimated 5000 backpacks today for kids in need @WLRN #Back2School pic.twitter.com/J1unmu39FN — Holly Pretsky (@hollypret) August 4, 2017

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