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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Severin on backpack drive: "We want them to have something they can call their own"

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State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) revealed the launch of the Stuff the Backpacks holiday drive in a Nov. 22 Facebook post and a news release from his office.

Stuff the Backpacks is a follow-up to his prior Backpacks for Buddies drive, which he had held for multiple years.

"We were overwhelmed and overjoyed by the donations of hundreds of backpacks in our Backpacks for Buddies drive over the last couple of years," Severin said in the Facebook post. "Some of the backpacks were already filled, but many were not. We're doing what we can to provide children placed in emergency foster care with a new backpack filled with items they will need to stay clean and healthy while they are transitioning from their home to emergency care and beyond. We want them to have something they can call their own while they are experiencing trauma and disruption of their regular routines."

Illinois residents are encouraged to leave items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar soap, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, feminine care products, coloring books, activity books, crayons, and colored pencils at Severin's office in Marion, the news release noted. The office is located at 600 Halfway Rd., Suite 103. Donors can schedule a drop-off appointment by calling 618-440-5090, or they can drop items off Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"I have been so happy to work with places like Caritas [Family Solutions] and DCFS [Illinois Department of Children and Family Services] to deliver hundreds of backpacks to children facing these tough situations," Severin said. "It gives them something they can call their own, and [will] hopefully make a very difficult situation they are experiencing a little bit easier. Let's step up one more time for these kids and stuff the backpacks this holiday season!"

Severin attended a Thanksgiving event recently, according to a Facebook post from Thursday.

"I brought my grandsons to the Williamson County Shriners Motor Patrol annual Thanksgiving smoked turkey fundraiser," he said in the Facebook post. "Thankful for my grandkids and glad to show them the amazing work being done by the Shriners. Great turkey! They also make great ribs, great fish, and great pork loins throughout the year. A lot of volunteers work hard all year long for this worthy cause. Happy Thanksgiving to all! We have much to be grateful for!"

Severin was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2017, his biography on the General Assembly website noted. He currently resides in Benton. His legislative experience includes serving on the Judiciary-Criminal Committee and the Mental Health and Addiction Committee.

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