By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local nonprofit that provides essential items to impoverished children has received some help of its own ahead of a big back-to-school initiative.

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Shortly after dropping off a $50-thousand donation, Citizens Bank President and CEO Dan Fitzpatrick and volunteers stuffed backpacks with notebooks, pens and pencils, and other back to school items. Cradles to Crayons Executive Director Michael Smith says they’re hoping to help 24,000 kids during this year’s Ready for School initiative.

“Basically, they are children all over the region who are suffering from the effects of poverty and whose parents possibly can’t get them a backpack this year,” he says. “And we want to make sure that they start the school year with a brand new backpack fully stuffed with the things that a child might need.”

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This is a warmup event for the organization’s Backpack-A-Thon set for August 6 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The backpacks will be distributed through social services and human services agencies in time for the start of the school year.

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Anyone interested in supporting the Ready for School initiative can find information at the Cradles to Crayons website.