School bells seem like a long way off but United Way of Brown County, in partnership with Bank Midwest, is already working to help families get their kids backpacks filled for school. It takes a lot of money to fill a backpack, and United Way knows that some families struggle to get this done. Letters were sent out to over 480 families throughout Brown County whose families qualify for the free lunch program. United Way staff said they had a great response last year from people who dropped off supplies at the many donation boxes they placed throughout the county. They hope to see lots of donations again this year. Only new, unused items are needed. If you want to help kids be excited to start school because they have a new backpack filled with supplies on their school’s list, consider putting crayons, markers, highlighters, hand sanitizer and much more in a donation box near you. Monetary gifts can also be sent to United Way Backpack Project, PO Box 476, New Ulm, MN 56073.