Through Aug. 19, Project G.R.A.C.E. is collecting backpacks and supplies for families in need in Scarborough. Donations can be dropped off at Scarborough Public Library, Biddeford Savings, cPort Credit Union, Gorham Savings Bank and Katahdin Trust. On Monday, Aug. 19, backpacks can be brought to St. Max Church from 4 to 6 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Scarborough Public Library)

SCARBOROUGH — Project G.R.A.C.E. is partnering with a library, church, and local banks to collect backpacks and supplies for families in Scarborough.

Board President Bert Follansbee said that, for a family struggling to pay bills, filling a backpack with supplies can be a strain.

“There’s a lot of need at back to school time: clothes, shoes, supplies,” Follansbee said. “It’s great that there are people generous enough to help out.”

The backpack drive is held each year in preparation for the beginning of the school year by Project G.R.A.C.E., which aims to equip all students with the tools they need to succeed.

School supplies and backpacks can be dropped off at Scarborough Public Library, Biddeford Savings, cPort Credit Union, Gorham Savings Bank, and Katahdin Trust.

On Monday, Aug. 19, backpacks can be brought to St. Max Church from 4 to 6 p.m.

Nancy Crowell, Scarborough Public Library director, said the library is pleased to be a drop-off location for school supplies.

“We see families who make it a project to fill a backpack with supplies as they do their own back-to-school shopping,” Crowell said. “But we also see the generosity of people who have no other connection to a school-age child make a special point of dropping off an item or two that they know will be helpful.”

Crowell said that both Project G.R.A.C.E. and the library serve the community, and thus share a natural partnership.

Project G.R.A.C.E. also displays a food collection box at the library throughout the year.

“We’re proud to help Project G.R.A.C.E. fill backpacks with supplies for children,” Biddeford Savings Scarborough Branch Manager Lori Boucouvalas said.

Boucouvalas said working with Project G.R.A.C.E. is an extension of Biddeford Savings’ mission.

“We’re an independent, mutual, community bank committed to meeting the financial needs of individuals, families, and businesses in our market areas.”

She said the staff at the Scarborough branch of Biddeford Savings also enjoy participating in other Project G.R.A.C.E. community work, such as the Trivia Bee in October, Thanksgiving Food Drive and Holiday Giving Tree.

Project G.R.A.C.E. is a volunteer organization whose mission is to orchestrates the compassionate, confidential exchange of resources between those that are willing and able to share, and those who are in need and willing to receive, according to its website.

Scarborough residents can apply for assistance on the Project G.R.A.C.E. website, www.projectgracemaine.weebly.com

— Evelyn Waugh can be reached at [email protected] or 780- 9026.

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