Backpacks with school supplies part of giveaway at Nittany Mall, Bellefonte Verizon stores

Backpacks and school supplies will fly off the shelves at local stores.

From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday — or as long as supplies last — free backpacks will be given away at the Verizon Wireless Made Simple in Bellefonte and in the Nittany Mall.

The annual giveaway is part of a larger event driven by The Cellular Connection, a Verizon retailer, according to Verizon Wireless Made Simple owner Eric Bruckner, who said he buys the back-to-school kits. There will be 50 backpacks each with paper, pencils, a pencil box, folders, a ruler and glue at each store.

“No purchase is necessary, but the child does need to be present,” Bruckner said.

He said the backpacks are appropriate for elementary-level children and some middle-schoolers.

“It is very important for us to be a helpful part of our communities,” he said. “We enjoy giving back and supporting our local schools as much as we can.”