GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) – As the new school year is beginning and students head back to the classroom, StepStone Family and Youth Services of North Carolina is kicking off its first-ever “Back to School” backpack drive to benefit the youth in need.

StepStone Family & Youth Services will be accepting donations for new and gently used backpacks until September 30 in Winterville, Rocky Mount and Raleigh.

“At StepStone Family and Youth Services, we’re committed to reducing barriers for our children and youth, especially as they head back into the classroom,” said Marika Whack, executive director, with StepStone Family & Youth Services. “By donating a backpack, you’re helping to prepare a student, who needs it most, for the upcoming academic year.”

Stepstone Family and Youth Family Services helps to connect children in need with foster families who can provide comforting and nurturing homes. The organization has been helping North Carolina residents for over 20 years and provides foster care services, counseling, respite care, training for foster parents and youth residential services.