HONOLULU - Military children of Soldiers ranked E5 and below can receive free backpacks and school supplies through USO Hawaii's Back-to-School program.

Backpacks and school supplies will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to families with proper military identification, July 25, from 1-3 p.m., at the Officers Club, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

A limited amount of brand new children's books and "Hannah Montana" teen books will also be available, as well as children's shoes from Kids in Distressed Situations, or K.I.D.S.

To request free backpacks and school supplies, call 808-256-7744 or e-mail <a href="mailto:btroegner@uso.org">btroegner@uso.org</a>.

Community members are encouraged to donate brand new backpacks and school supplies, such as notebooks, pens, pencils, scissors, erasers and glue, for elementary to high school students.

Donations may be dropped off through July 25 at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange Aloha Desk, as well as at the USO center at the Honolulu International Airport.

"We are all experiencing challenges in a tough economy, and our junior military on our islands feel the burden as well," said Eva Laird Smith, director, USO Hawaii.

"This is a great opportunity for our community to show their aloha support for our military and their families with their children's back-to-school needs," Smith added. "It will be one headache less, one (less) challenge on the home front for our deployed troops."

All donations to the USO, a nonprofit organization, will be acknowledged with a letter for individuals' IRS annual donation reporting. To donate visit <a href="http://affiliates.uso.org/hawaii">http://affiliates.uso.org/hawaii</a> or mail a check to USO Hawaii at 300 Rodgers Blvd. # 48, Honolulu, HI, 96819.

For PayPal donations, call 836-3351 or e-mail <a href="mailto:wjohnson@uso.org">wjohnson@uso.org</a>.

Page last updated Thu July 15th, 2010 at 19:14