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News Story
Updated: 01/20/2014 11:10:01AM

Back Pack Angels grateful for holiday help

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SUN PHOTO BY SCOTT LOCKWOOD
The North Port Coalition for Homeless/Needy Children, also known as the Back Pack Angels, received a proclamation from the Sarasota County Commission last week for their work with homeless and needy children in North Port. Since their founding in 2010, the group has filled and distributed more than 13,000 bags filled with toiletries, giving these children fewer things to worry about and more time to focus on their education. Pictured, from left, are members Cheryl Doyle, Marcia Mullen and Jan Huegen with County Commissioner Christine Robinson, who helped the group stuff bags prior to the holidays.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MARCIA MULLAN
Marcia Mullan and Jan Huegen accept the many donations and monetary gifts from Katrina Romano and Julia Bellia, city project administrator with North Port Public Works.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MARCIA MULLAN
North Port Police Officer Jasonn Browning, Katrina Romano and Julie Bellia help deliver holiday donations to Patriot Self Storage.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MARCIA MULLAN
Julia Bellia, helper Savanna Vest (daughter of Public Works operations manager Bill Vest) Marcia Mullan and Joyce Gascoyne of the Back Pack Angels are awestruck at the amount of blankets brought to North Port City Hall recently.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MARCIA MULLAN
Volunteers with the North Port Coalition for Homeless and Needy Students enjoy lunch at the table with Brenda Reid, Back Pack Angels treasurer, at left.

Provided by MARCIA MULLAN

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NORTH PORT — Volunteers with the North Port Coalition for Homeless and Needy Students, also known as the Back Pack Angels, were kept busy during the holidays and in the new year. At the group’s regular packing day in December, a huge amount of toys and even some bikes were delivered to schools and service agencies in North Port.

In addition to the usual supply of toiletries and hygiene products, toys and bikes were all donated by employees of the city of North Port and residents who all pitched in to help. Julia Bellia, project administrator for the Department of Public Works, headed this project with team assistance. The gifts were all brought by police officers to Patriot Self Storage on Talon Bay Drive, where Back Pack Angels volunteers delivered them to local schools so homeless and needy kids could have a happy Christmas.

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