NEBRASKA CITY - With the calendar close to flipping to August and school set to begin in a few weeks, the First Lutheran Church in Nebraska City is doing its part to make sure kids have what they need to be successful in the classroom this fall.

Folks in the community showed up, driving up to the drop off location to donate school supplies such as backpacks, binders, crayons and notebooks at the sixth annual backpack drive. 

Sara Vesely says the drive supports the local schools in the area providing necessary supplies to those who need it. 

“We are taking in supplies for schools, supplies for Nebraska City Public Schools and for Lourdes (Central Catholic) for kids that need bags and all of these fun things that people are dropping off,” Vesely said. 

Vesely says parents sign their kids up with their grade level to a receive a backpack full of supplies. The families provide a list of needed supplies and they fill the backpack with exactly whats on the list. 

The community support has been evident and Vesely added they're grateful for that because the demand this year has been high.

"Both have been enormous, honestly," Vesely said of the support and the demand. "We've had a very large outpouring of people that are wanting to help and are wanting to participate. We got all of this in the first hour and a half so we have a lot of people that want to help, and that's exciting because we have a ton of kids that are already signed up. 

Parents still have time to sign their kids up if they haven't with sign ups running through the end of July.

This year's backpack drive takes on a little bit more significance in helping local families, something Vesely says is important with the current economic climate. 

"Times are really tough right now," Vesely said. "People are trying to figure out how they're going to pay for gas, groceries and school supplies. We want to make sure that's not an issue."