FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Sarah Byford is back at fundraising again, helping the Salvation Army’s new ‘Backpack of School Supplies’ program.

The Salvation Army has surpassed its goal of 50 backpacks, with 55 collected so far. Sarah is asking the community to go the extra mile to fill 80 backpacks for students.

“Sarah doesn’t have small goals. Sarah has big goals,” her mom, Amy Byford, said.

The 11-year-old donated two filled backpacks to the program and is looking to collect more donations for the Salvation Army.

Amy says her daughter hasn’t done much over the summer, and she wanted to do something for “back to school.”

After turning in some bottle donations, Sarah told her mom she wanted to fill up backpacks with the funds.

“And then while we were camping, that’s all she talked about is backpacks and supplies,” Amy said.

That’s when she decided to reach out to the Salvation Army, who they’ve worked with previously during the Christmas toy drive.

They discovered the new program, and Sarah started begging her mom to go shopping.

Once Amy relented and they went shopping, Sarah and her sister picked out everything for the backpacks.

While giving the backpacks full of supplies to the Salvation Army, they mentioned they were low on snack foods for kids, such as fruit snacks and granola bars.

“She’ll interview people. ‘Well, in third grade, what did you want?’ So she’s asked everyone she knows what different snacks they liked,” Amy said.

The Byfords have spent around $200 for the back-to-school campaign for school supplies and toiletries, such as deodorants, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Amy says they will be sorting more bottles this weekend to donate more items to the Salvation Army, including kids’ snack foods.

The fundraiser ends on September 1st before School District 60 students head back to school on September 5th.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.