A call for help from a couple of community agencies before school starts.

The Children's Aid Society's Back to School Backpack Program equips children and youth with a new backpack equipped with school supplies.

Manager of Community Outreach Tina Gatt tells CTV Windsor they have school supplies for all 917 kids in CAS care.

But she points out they still must pay for those supplies to prevent the foundation from having to dip into its savings.

Gatt says the program builds self-esteem and assures that every youth has what is necessary to start the school year on equal footing with their peers.

There are a couple of other fundraisers planned.

Vito’s Pizzeria, in partnership with the United Way, is also holding a backpack fundraiser in its parking lot on Wyandotte St. E. from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The goal of the United Way “Backpacks for Success” program is to raise over $50,000 to offer school supplies to two thousand students from all three school boards in Windsor-Essex.

Windsor-Essex EMS staff will also be collecting donations at Staples on Ouellette Ave. at 1 p.m. on Friday.