Flushing Police to distribute backpacks at Raider Rally

FLUSHING — With a new school year just around the corner, the Flushing City Police Department is looking to give students a boost by handing out backpacks at the upcoming Raider Rally.

Thanks to a generous donation from the First Responders Children’s Foundation, Flushing Police will distribute more than 700 backpacks to Flushing Community Schools students at Raider Rally on Aug. 24.

Backpacks will be available for every age group and grade level.

Flushing Police Chief Mark Hoornstra said his department is thrilled to connect with students in a new way.

“In the past, we’ve donated pencils and supplies like that for Raider Rally,” he said. “Getting these backpacks gives us a chance to do a little something more. I think they will be a great asset to the community.”

The First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who’ve lost a first responder parent, has been distributing free backpacks in various cities across the state during the 2021 back-to-school season.

The new initiative is part of the organization’s Power Play program aimed at improving the social and emotional well-being of kids across America and bringing police officers and their communities together.

“As a foundation, our central mission is to create strong relationships with first responder agencies and assist them in fostering partnerships within their community” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “By providing backpacks to distribute, these nonprofit, public-private relationships are helping to grow trust with the community’s youth, who need our help now more than ever.”

First responder agencies and police departments that are interested in receiving free backpacks for kids in their neighborhoods should email toys@1strcf.org to set up a distribution.

Raider Rally will be held on Aug. 24 at Central Elementary School from 6-8 p.m.