More than 60 school-age children received new backpacks filled with school supplies at The Colonnade on July 23. It was the culmination of a month-long SHINE (Sun Health Involvement Never Ends) project to raise funds to purchase backpacks and supplies for children living in foster care homes in Surprise.

“It’s very nice to have a new backpack, and it’s my favorite color; red,” 5th-grader Reba said. Luis, a 4th-grader echoed the feeling, “I really like my gray backpack.” Each child was able to choose their own backpack available in a variety of solid colors.

The event also included refreshments and pop music, which inspired several kids to dance. Sun Health President and CEO Ron Guziak and several other Sun Health employees greeted the kids and spent time visiting with them.

In all, the SHINE backpack drive raised more than $4,000 which was used to purchase backpacks and supplies for 240 kids. The remaining backpacks will be given to The Arizona Association of Foster Children, which will distribute them to other foster children before the new school year begins.

Foster children from Surprise received free school backpacks filled with supplies thanks to the generosity of Sun Health employees and residents. They covered their faces to protect their privacy.

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