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Gateway to the Heart is having a community backpack giveaway for local children

Come grab a backpack filled with school necessities to help ease your pockets

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - School is going to be starting very soon, and local organizations are here to help kids be fully prepared.

Gateway to the Heart is having a community backpack giveaway this weekend July 13 and 14.

There will be two locations in Yuma on Sat. July 13.

The main event will be held at 128 W. 32nd St. and the second location will be in the Foothills at 11611 S. Foothills Blvd Suite E, both from 8-10 a.m.

On July 14, the event will be held in San Luis, AZ at Joe Orduño Park from 8-10 a.m.

It will only be until supplies last, one backpack per kid and the child must be present.

Regina Villanueva-Mendez, founder of Gateway to the Heart says starting the organization started as a dream and it formed into a reality.

"And we named it Gateway to the Heart because we're not just helping kids in schools. We're helping anybody that needs it and comes forward and says, hey, you know, we need this. And if I can connect somebody with that, I will. If we have the funds to do it, we'll help out where we can," says Villanueva-Mendez.

She says they will be giving away 2,700 backpacks and there will be approximately 19 supplies provided inside of them.

"An extra notebook, as well as a water bottle donated by Milo's Plumbing, a reusable one, and then Pepsi donated Gatorade bottles for every kid in there," Villanueva-Mendez adds.

Villanueva-Mendez is very passionate about giving back to her community because of the things she went through as a child.

"When you're a middle class family, nobody knows what's going on behind closed doors. And how is anybody here to judge that you can or cannot get help. My dad died of cancer. Nobody knew what was going on financially," Villanueva-Mendez says.

"And everybody that knows and has had cancer affect their lives, knows that your money is strictly on medication. So we're trying to do that, give where there's no stipulations."

Gateway to the Heart also gives back to local teachers.

"We're up to 11 baskets and they are ranging from all the way from Dateland, Tacna, Wellton, Yuma, Foothills, Gadsden, Somerton and San Luis. Home Depot has sponsored me every year and they give a five gallon bucket with cleaning supplies in them," Villanueva-Mendez says.

For more information and future events, you can visit Gateway to the Heart website.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma Education

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Vanessa Gongora

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