By Teresa Varley
Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch continued his commitment to his hometown when he once against organized "BatchPacks For Kids," through his Best of the Batch Foundation and National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW).
Batch was at his former school, Barrett Elementary School in Homestead, to help distribute the backpacks to the students.
"A lot of people aren't in the situation I am in," said Batch. "This program has been successful at my school and last year we expanded that. We want to continue to do that. We want to exceed the 1,000 we gave away last year and we are well on our way to do that."
Barrett is one of the schools in the Steel Valley area benefitting from the efforts of Batch, the NCJW and area businesses.
"It's always special for me because I know when I was younger I didn't always have the supplies I needed to succeed in the classroom," said Batch. "Now that I am in position to give back, starting with my elementary school, it is great. I want to go out there and make sure they can shop for their supplies and book bag and make sure the whole school has what they need. I think it's a great combination."
The students each got a backpack and were given the opportunity to "shop" for essential school supplies geared toward their age group that were donated. Read! 365, a program of Beginning with Books, also donated books to give every student.
"You see the smiles. The majority of the kids are used to seeing me, but the new kids coming through get to see me and some of my teammates for the first time they get the best of both worlds – they get their school supplies and see the Steelers," said Batch.
The event was also an opportunity for the kids to give back. All f the students were asked to donate their old backpacks to help other kids who are in need.