Penquis’ We’ve Got Your Back program

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 11:35 AM EDT
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Penquis’ We’ve Got Your Back program helps 1,200 students living in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties with backpacks and school supplies each year. Penquis and their community partners/sponsors Blueberry Broadcasting and Katahdin Trust need your help this summer to give students a great start to the new school year this fall. Backpacks are a vital part of the back-to-school experience for all children. Unfortunately, these items are beyond reach for many Maine families, but there are ways for you to help!

There are two community drives coming up in the next couple of weeks.

The first opportunity is to help “Fill the Van” in Dover-Foxcroft with backpacks on Friday, July 21st from 8 am to 5 pm. For the third year, Penquis is partnering with Shaw’s (located at 1073 W. Main St. in Dover-Foxcroft) where donations of backpacks and other school supplies will be collected throughout the day. Cash donations will also be accepted. Help us fill the van with backpacks!

Then on Friday, August 4th, come help us “Fill the Bus” at Walmart in both Bangor and Lincoln from 10 am to 4 pm. We are partnering with Walmart, Cyr Bus Line, and the United Way Heart of Maine to collect donated school supplies for the 2023-2024 school year. Backpacks are the most critical need at the moment, but pens/pencils, colored pencils/markers/crayons, notebooks, folders, binders, pencil boxes/cases, erasers and more will all be happily accepted along with cash donations. We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to either event but would still like to help, visit We’ve Got Your Back’s new website,, and see the need for backpacks and school supplies in your community. Then donate and help give kids the confidence and tools they need to enter school ready to learn! You can also donate by texting “Givebackpacks” to 44321.

Do you like to shop? Another way to support this program is to purchase items from the We’ve Got Your Back registry with Walmart. The items are shipped directly to Penquis!

And, Penquis is always happy to see you in person! Feel free to drop off backpacks and supplies at any Penquis office location in Bangor, Dover, Lincoln, or Rockland.