Sanford Cares program delivers backpacks to students

400 second graders received an early Christmas surprise from members of the community

A girl unpacks a backpack on her school desk, including a stuffed dog and bag of pretzels.

Second grade students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Bismarck, North Dakota, heard that a special guest would be visiting their classroom, but they weren’t expecting the big guy in red.

Joined by Mrs. Claus and Buddy the Elf, Santa delivered special backpacks full of winter supplies including a hat, pair of gloves, water bottle, grocery vouchers, and other essential items for the holidays.

“I got a stuffed animal, a pop-it, a new water bottle and some mittens,” said Eloise, a second grade student at Roosevelt.

“They were a little nervous at first but once they sang a few songs they were excited to see what was inside their backpacks,” Brenda Beiswenger, principal of Roosevelt Elementary School.

For the third year in a row, Sanford Health Bismarck partnered with local sponsors and Bismarck Public Schools Foundation to help raise funds for the Sanford Cares program. This year, the program was able to provide a backpack filled with holiday gifts for the family to 400 second grade students enrolled in Title 1 schools within the Bismarck Public Schools system.

Last year, Sanford Health and local sponsors provided 200 second grade students with backpacks filled with supplies.

“We’ve gone from reaching 100 second grade students to this year now reaching 400 students across eight different schools,” said Weston Dressler, senior community relations specialist at Sanford Health. “Having everyone involved, it’s not just about Sanford going out and doing something. It’s about people working together and coming together around the holidays and giving back to our community.”

And students weren’t the only ones to receive goodies. Guarantors, teachers and aids also received a gift.

“We love the community partnership,” said Beiswenger. “Any support that we can get through these donations and community support is always accepted and welcomed.”

This year’s holiday cheer is brought to you by Sanford Health and the following sponsors:

  • Bismarck Larks
  • Bismarck Public Schools Foundation
  • Capital City Christmas
  • First International Bank
  • Empower Ed
  • MDU Resources
  • Roy G. Gilbreath
  • Scheels
  • Starion Bank

If your business would like to become a sponsor or make a donation to Sanford Cares, please fill out the online form or contact Weston Dressler at (701) 323-5762.

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Posted In Bismarck, Children's, Community