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MERRILLVILLE| Merrillville students were overjoyed recently to receive school supply kits - also known as  HOPE Packs - from Elim Christian Services of Orland Park, Ill.

Elim graciously donated 400 kits to Merrillville Intermediate School and an additional 200 kits to Pierce Middle School. The kits were also shared with Merrillville elementary schools to reach more students.

Going back to school can be very exciting and the packs allow students to start the new academic year with fresh school supplies. Packs included moist wipes, markers, crayons, scissors, rulers, tissues, protractors, dry erase markers, colored pencils, calculators, pencil sharpeners, pencil boxes, highlighters, pens and pencils, glue sticks, erasers, notebooks and folders.

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Elim’s Adult Services program employs adults with disabilities to assemble the kits for distribution. Each box is packaged with care, love, and hope. Hope not only for the person who receives it, but also with hope that the individual who packaged it has made a difference in the life of another.

"An added bonus is that our students see just how amazing paying it forward and community outreach can be because they experience it first-hand," said Angela Woodworth of the Merrillville Community School Corp.

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