Wednesday’s hometown heroes are getting kids back to school with what they need to succeed.

Lancaster County nonprofit Paying It Forward is giving away backpacks, partnering with Keller Williams Elite. The groups co-hosted an event Wednesday and will again on Thursday at Keller Williams in Manheim Township from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The goal is to give out 1,000 backpacks to local kids who need them.

“When you have everything that you need for school, you are more prepared, you have more confidence, you feel better about yourself to start the new school year,” president of Paying It Forward Rosa Van Pelt said. “We want to make sure that all the kids start school on a positive note.”

Paying It Forward is also collecting school supplies and toiletries all year round, and next year, the group hopes to have enough to help twice as many kids. People can drop off donations at Alice’s Diner in Lancaster.

During the rest of the year, Paying It Forward delivers food boxes twice a month to families in need as well as clothes and other household items. Van Pelt said she is looking for more volunteers to help handle the deliveries. She said there are usually 50 to 100 deliveries, and right now she and one other person handles all of them.

Paying It Forward is holding other community giveaways later this year. On Sept. 23, they will be holding a coat and winter clothes giveaway at Two Dudes Painting, and on Nov. 11, they will be giving out free Thanksgiving meals at Crispus Attucks from 12 to 3 p.m.

For more information on Paying It Forward and their work, visit their Facebook page.