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Normally, I just lurk on this board, but I was at Office Max this morning and in the back of the store in their clearance section they had backpacks for $2, $5 and $7. They are very nice EastPaks and not cheap looking at all. I couldn't resist and bought 2, one for a boy and one for a girl. I'm in Missouri, but I would bet that most office supply stores are very similar. Back to lurking...

Marcusfan
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Uncle Jeffy and nearby Fools:

Are any of you near a Gap Outlet? Currently, regular-sized backpacks and messenger bags are $5.99 plus tax.

Now, i happen to work PT at one here in the Seattle area. I bought one of each the other night - with my employee discount and 8.8% sales tax (yes, i KNOW) the bags are about $4.50 each.

(I already e-mailed this info to Jeff but i have another thought.)

I can buy gift cards with my discount, too. So, if the WV Fools are near an outlet, i will send you some Gap cards to buy the backpacks there. That would save both postage and the exorbitant sales tax cost.

I haven't checked Old Navy (but i will tomorrow night when i go to work) but they might be even cheaper. I also get a discount there, though it's a bit smaller and more limited - but the gift card idea could still apply.

Many outlet malls have coupon books - Gap's standard offering is 15% off a $75 purchase. If you can wait until December 4-7, i can include a Friends & Family discount card, which'll getcha 30% off. Something like that could stretch the purchase even further.

Feel free to e-mail me about this, anyone.

If this isn't feasible, i'm on board to purchase Washington's 10 backpacks m'self.

snippee
waiting for Foolish Elves to get 503(c) designation - tax exempt!
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Uncle Jeffy, just thinking, that's all; but would it be better long-term for the school and children if they had to check out their back-packs for a school term and then check-it back in at the end? If they do so; then school students the next year and, hopefully, onward could have the benefit of using the backpacks in the future. Or, do you think the backpacks would be destroyed in a year, anyhow? I just like things of lasting value, if possible.
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Sounds like a hassle for the school. Who's going to track and store 500 backpacks? What happens if someone doesn't return theirs, or if it isn't in good condition? I say let each kid keep theirs and hopefully they can use it next year also.

Crazyinlovefool
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Oooh snippee!!! THANK YOU for the heads-up about OfficeMax backpacks. Check this out:

I had to run to the 99c store, and there's an OMX up the road from them, so I did both. Turns out, they had 3 shelves full of backpacks: $5, $7.50, $10, and $15. I picked up 10 of the $5 packs. When they asked why so many, I tried to explain about the project, and they thought I was talking about one of our local schools.

(ILC hall of shame moment: the school for homeless kids where I volunteer every few years is trying to raise $7K for a feeding project this year, and I din' know about it! When I dropped off my Christmas in July bundle, the gal din' say nuttin'. My own backyard and I didn't know? *sob* I feel like a rat, having to learn this at OMX.)

Anyway, I 'splained to the folks at OMX that no, this wasn't local, I'm part of a "National Association of Elves". heh. But here's the really cool news: turns out, they had MORE in the back to put up front! So I didn't clean them out! There are MORE $5 backpacks available in Phoenix area OfficeMax stores.

But that's not all. At the 99c store I decided to scout, see what's available. They have backpacks, too! I got one. It's 14.5" long. I don't have little kids to measure this against, but I'm guessing it's the PERFECT size for kindergarteners, and possibly 1st graders, too!!

Once we find out how many really little tykes we'll be outfitting, if anybody has trouble finding smaller packs for them, let me know and I could be a supplier.
ILC
who now has a trunk full of backpacks in case any Elves need a supply
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OCD: I just realized, snippee talked about Gap. Whoever talked about OfficeMax, mea culpa for my forgetfulness. But thanks to you both anyway!
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ILC: Whoever talked about OfficeMax...

That'd be Marcusfan, originator of this here thread.

Add me to the ones saying, "Good call on O-Max!"

snippee
Gap lackey
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Snippee,

I know for sure that I have a Gap -- not sure about the
Gap Outlet!

Guess a trip to the mall is in order!!

Jeffy
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