Thanks to the charitable donations of CHI Health St. Mary’s, the United Way and a number of individuals, kids in the Nebraska City Public School system will go back to school armed with the supplies they need to learn.
CHI Health St. Mary’s held a BBQ for Backpacks to raise money for  school supplies for those students who can not afford them.  St. Mary’s donated and grilled hotdogs and hamburgers for the fundraiser and employees were asked to bring a side dish or dessert.  
People who attended the luncheon gave a free-will donation. The event raised $685.75.
Those funds were combined with a $2,000 donation from the United Way.
Randy Rasmussen, the pastor of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, said a number of individuals also gave donations to the cause.
Rasmussen said the Nebraska City Ministerial Association is the organization that puts this program together and noted that his church is simply working on the project on behalf of that organization.
With the funds, program organizers go out and purchase the needed items for students from school supply lists, like those found at Walmart.
Rasmussen said the list includes some classroom needs that the school is counting on receiving  from students.
This program gathered those items as well and will be dividing those items between the four NCPS buildings.
Over 200 backpacks were purchased for students and supplies will be made available to all.
Backpacks were given to those folks who signed up for one.

An application went out to families during the final days of the last school year and Rasmussen said efforts were made to reach out to families through social media.
The sign ups continued through last week.
Students and parents from Northside will be able to pick up the needed school supplies during the back-to-school night.
Students at the Hayward, Middle School and High School buildings will pick up their items at a different location.
Rasmussen explained that the program’s intention is to get supplies to the students and avoid the stigma. Students in the older grades might feel uncomfortable with picking up the supplies in the same manner as those at Northside, and Rasmussen said the desire was to be sensitive to those types of considerations.
Rasmussen said there is no doubt that Nebraska City has a need for this type of program and said that donations, whether they’re small or large, like CHI Health St. Mary’s or the United Way, make a major difference in the lives of kids in this community.