The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and WJJO are hosting a 24-hour Radio-a-Thon today out in the parking lot of Midwest Family Broadcasting on Madison’s west side as they furiously hope to acquire 3,000 book bags and as many feminine hygiene products as they can for Madison-area students for the new school year.

The backpacks will be presented to students at Saturday’s Back to School bash at Elver Park. Boys and Girls Club kids, as well as other youth throughout Dane County, will receive their Back 2 School backpacks as they prepare for the coming academic year. Each year, with the help of generous donors, supporters, and community partners, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County helps hundreds of local youth prepare for school by giving out backpacks filled with much-needed supplies.

Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson, along with Madison365 CEO Henry Sanders, will deliver a bus load of feminine hygiene supplies to the schools. Products will be given to teachers and the school nurse and will be located in bathrooms for easy access for students.

“There were a group of women who met with me months ago who shared with me that you have women who are beginning their cycle as early as elementary school and some folks can’t afford tampons for their kids,” Johnson says. “So we’re doing a 24-hour Radio-a-Thon with WJJO radio to collect school supplies and feminine hygiene products for students in elementary and middle school.”

Johnson adds that this year they are also trying to raise $10,000 for five different Madison organizations – Briarpatch, Second Harvest Food Pantry, Heartland Farm Sanctuary, NaMI of Dane Couny and Dane County Rape Crisis Center.

“We’ve been here since 6 a.m. this morning and we aren’t leaving until we meet our goal,” Johnson says. “People have been bringing stuff left and right. JC Penney gave us 1,000 book bags. Herzing gave us 500 Milios [Subs] gave us 250. We think that Saturday will be the largest backpack giveaway in the history of the city.”

The Back 2 School Bash will be held at Elver Park on Madison’s west side from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Along with the free backpacks, there will be barbeque, a bouncy house, and a dee jay.

“We are getting close to reaching our goal as far as backpacks … we’re about 500 away,” Johnson says. “We still need more hygiene products. If we are not able to get enough, we will try to purchase the rest but we hope the community will come out for this. We’re hoping people will continue to come out to Midwest Family Broadcasting.”