Hyde Park residents collect backpacks for Katrina victims

By Lauren Osen

Hyde Park residents are organizing a book bag and school supplies collection for victims displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Organizers are looking for gently used backpacks and other school supplies to send to thousands of displaced children.

Dina Weinstein, President of the Friends of Blackstone Branch Library, contacted several libraries in areas inundated with hurricane survivors, and many have agreed to help distribute donated school materials and supplies.

Collection organizers intend to equip children in the Natchitoches, St. Morton, DeSoto, Iberia, and Pointe Coupee parishes of New Orleans—some of the regions most heavily hit by the hurricane.

All backpacks and school supplies can be dropped off at the Blackstone Library, located at 4904 South Lake Park Avenue, or in the basement of the Hyde Park Co-Op Shopping Center at Lake Park Avenue and 55th Street. Weinstein also hopes to set up a campus drop-off point soon.

For more information on how libraries are helping displaced hurricane victims, visit the Chicago-based American Library Associate Website:www.ala.org/ala/alonline/hurricanekatrinaws/katrinanews.htm.