For the third year in a row, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is requesting your help preparing local kids for a successful school year. From July 16 – August 22, area businesses and Catholic Charities will be collecting new backpacks and new school supplies. These items will be distributed at two Back to School Kick-off events in Watkins Glen (August 23) and Elmira (August 31).

The following businesses have partnered with Catholic Charities to offer drop off locations in Chemung and Schuyler Counties:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings, Horseheads
  • Community Arts of Elmira
  • Farmers Insurance, Elmira
  • Libraries in Chemung County
  • Panosian’s Famous Shoes, Elmira
  • Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Service, Horseheads
  • The Purple Iris Boutique, Horseheads
  • Treu Office Supply & Furniture, Elmira
  • Famous Brands, Watkins Glen
  • Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Service, Odessa & Montour Falls
  • Quinlan’s Pharmacy, Montour Falls
  • The Hi-Lites, Watkins Glen
  • Visions FCU, Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen Public Library

Donations will also be accepted at: The Samaritan Center (380 S Main St, Elmira); Monday – Friday, 9 am – Noon & 1 pm – 4 pm; Schuyler Outreach (112 10th St, Watkins Glen); Tuesday & Thursday, 9 am – 2 pm, Friday, Noon – 4 pm.

“As a mother/father/guardian, you want the best for your child,” states Lindsay Winters, Catholic Charities’ Director of Development. “But what if you couldn’t financially make ends meet? Can you imagine sending your child to school with a tattered backpack? Please donate today. With the help of our local businesses and people like you, we can ensure hundreds of kids start the year off right.”

Nate with his new backpack at a previous giveaway event

Catholic Charities’ Back to School Kick-off Events will be held at Schuyler Outreach on August 23 from 3 pm – 6 pm and Saints Peter & Paul Gym (556 St. Joseph’s Blvd, Elmira) on August 31 from 3 pm – 6 pm. Pre-registration is necessary to receive haircuts, backpacks and school supply starter kits at both Events. To register in Schuyler County: please complete the form online ( or visit Schuyler Outreach Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am – 2pm or Fridays from noon – 4pm, now until August 22. To register in Chemung County, visit The Samaritan Center July 17-19 from 9am-11:45am or 1pm-4pm (open until 5:30 pm on 7/17).

For a full list of needed items, additional ways to donate or if you are a stylist looking to volunteer your time, please visit our website or email our Development and Marketing Coordinator, Katie Rhodes  or call 734.9784, ext. 2133.