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Posted on: August 15, 2018

GPD and GEMS donate 172 backpacks and school supplies to children in foster care


Galveston, TX – August 15, 2018 – The new school year is about to kick off and children are preparing their back-to-school gear. However, not all of them have the opportunity to buy all the supplies they need.

 This is why the Galveston Police Department and Galveston EMS teamed up to create “Beating the Odds,” an initiative that helps youth with the resources to start the school year successfully.

Through this initiative, GPD and GEMS were able to collect and donate 172 backpacks full of school supplies for children in the foster care system. The backpacks were delivered on August 15th to CASA of Galveston County, a nonprofit organization that provides community volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in foster care.

This project was a great success thanks to the support of the community that contributed to this initiative. Kroger, Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Galveston Municipal Police Association, JCPenny, Bronco Burrito Restaurant, Veteran Tejanos Car Club, GPD & GEMS personnel and family, and other anonymous donors, provided colorful backpacks, markers, crayons, pencils, folders, paper, tissues and other essential supplies.

“Beating the Odds” was created by GPD Officer Klynn Scales and Galveston EMS paramedic, Joseph Russell, both raised in the foster care system. “We saw the need and thought it would be a good idea to give back to the program that helped us when we were in foster care,” said Officer Scales. “This project is important because these kids are not going to feel left out; they will now have school supplies to enjoy.” Officer Jovan Harris led this project and verified that all 172 backpacks were stuffed with the items donated and ready for delivery.

This is the first year GEMS and GPD partnered to create an initiative like “Beating the Odds” and they look forward to growing this project next year and help other organizations in need. Chief of Police, Vernon Hale, is pleased to witness the passion and commitment that GPD has for the community. “I am truly proud of GPD officers and GEMS facilitating this effort. The children of CASA are already tasked with growing up way too fast and dealing with more stress than many adults. They were likely removed from a difficult situation and they are dealing with the process of getting a stable home,” said Chief Hale.  “Hopefully these backpacks will provide them with one less thing to worry about so that they can use that energy to learn and be a child each day.”

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