BACK TO SCHOOL: The local club packing a helping hand
IT'S the small gesture from a local women's club that's to make a big difference to children returning to school today.
The QUOTA Club of Gladstone has assembled and distributed 150 backpacks for local primary schools to hand out to children in need on their first day back.
The backpacks have been evenly distributed to schools with each to hand them out to those who need them most.
The initiative is called Pencils Plus, and fits with QUOTA International's motto of "to assist disadvantaged women and children".
Club secretary Aileen Weeden said the initiative provided disadvantaged children with basic items they needed to learn.
"In the backpacks we have all sorts of stationery items plus a lunchbox and a water bottle," Ms Weeden said.
"Every school has readily accepted what we've given them and we're expecting we'll get more phone calls this week after the children get back to school.
"Our club has had some great working bees putting these packs together."
Funds for the other items came from the club's local fundraising efforts which they wanted to inject straight back into the community.
The club also supported local business through the initiative, shopping locally for every item included in the packs.
They were helped by organisations including Rio Tinto and Queensland Alumina Limited who donated water bottles and rulers.
While most backpacks have already been distributed, QUOTA Club member Phyllis Lawson said there were still some backpacks left over.
"The first idea was the maximum we would give them was 15 each," Ms Lawson said.
"But of course, some only wanted six or eight, which left some over for the other schools.
"If they have a need they just have to ring us and we'll give them some extras.
"It's very satisfying because that's what we're about - doing good for the community."