A few hundred Cortez students are receiving sturdy backpacks this year, thanks to an annual donation by Osprey.
This is the third or fourth year the Cortez-based backpack company has taken on the project, according to Sam Mix, conduit of corporate outreach for Osprey. The packs were delivered throughout Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 schools on Tuesday. They will be distributed to students according to need.
“These backpacks can last them the rest of their school life,” said Trina Lee, English language learners coordinator with Re-1.
The program was originally “hatched” by a few Osprey employees who had kids in the district, Mix said.
“They saw the need there,” he said. “So it’s a fantastic opportunity to invest in the next generation in our community.”
The packs come with a lifetime guarantee, Mix said, meaning if a backpack has an issue that Osprey staff can’t repair, the company will replace it free of charge.
“A lot of our kids have our backpacks from last year, which is awesome,” said Melissa Roberts, principal at Mesa Elementary School.
On Tuesday, a van carrying Osprey representatives including Talon, the Osprey mascot, traveled throughout town, delivering backpacks to the campuses. Student ambassadors were on hand to accept the packs.
Last year, Osprey donated about 100 backpacks, and this year over 200 will be distributed to all schools, according to Lee. The packs can help boost students’ self-esteem and make sure homework and other school items don’t get lost, she said.
“They’re some of the best backpacks that you can buy,” she said. “We’re very, very lucky that they value education.”