Operation Backpack: Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce supports local schools

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Through August 18th, the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce will be collecting book bags for area schools.

Operation Backpack was born from a desire on the part of the Chamber of Commerce to be more active in the community and bring more people into Mint Hill’s downtown area.  “We wanted to find out what the chamber can do to bring more benefit to the local community, to be more connected with businesses, bring more awareness to local businesses, and combine that with a good cause,” said Anna Granger, Broker-in-Charge at 1st Choice Properties and a member of the Chamber committee that planned the book bag drive.

A mom of three herself, Granger is sensitive to the high cost of school supplies.  “When you have kids and you get the supply lists going back to school,” she begins, “It’s crazy how expensive it is!”  Granger and those who planned the drive are looking forward to helping where there is need in the community.

Although many people have asked about donating other supplies, this year the Chamber is focused on collecting book bags only.  “It’s our first year doing this,” says Granger. “It’s going to be an annual thing, and depending on how well this goes, we’re going to expand on it.”

Chamber Representatives plan to contact Mint Hill area schools to determine their needs and distribute the backpacks as equitably as possible for the start of school.  “The response so far has been very good. We have had several citizens come back multiple times to drop off a backpack or even several,” said Phil Angelo of Leisure Travel Experts, another Chamber of Commerce Board Member who helped to plan the backpack drive.  “Mint Hill is a great place to live. Everyone responds so well to helping our neighbors any time the need arises.”

Operation Backpack is one of several initiatives the Chamber of Commerce is undertaking to increase their presence in Mint Hill and draw more people to the town’s downtown area.  Prior to the start of the Patriotic Concert on July 3, Angelo, Granger and Sandy Harrison of Fine Art honored Mint Hill’s “hometown heroes,” the firefighters, police, paramedics, and town works people who keep Mint Hill running safely.  Harrison is taking the lead in planning an Art Walk that will be held in October in downtown Mint Hill.

“The goal of all of this is to bring folks to downtown Mint Hill so they can see all the great opportunities to shop, eat, learn, and enjoy time together,” says Angelo.

Drop off your donations for Operation Backpack at any of ten downtown locations through August 18: Pour 64, Edward Jones, Subway, Create-A-Video, Big Guy’s Pizza, Mint Hill Dance Center, Hawthorne’s Pizza, Jimmy’s Restaurant, Mint Hill Pharmacy and Homestyles Gallery.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com