The Pine Street backpack program directors and volunteers are gearing up for next month's giveaway and carnival.

"This is our 11th year," co-founder Tim Ester said. "We're really excited about it."

Over the past 10 years, the program has given backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 8,300 area children.

"Our mission is to help families with the ever-increasing cost of school supplies," Ester said. "We couldn’t do that without our volunteers or the individual and corporate sponsors. Conway Regional has been our lead sponsor for the past two years and will be again this year. We really appreciate all of our sponsors and volunteers.”

The program will have an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Stoby's to help raise funds. The breakfast is $5 per person and includes sausage and a drink. Ester said to-go plates will be available as well.

In order to receive a backpack, families must pre-register, he said. Pre-registration will be conducted from 10 a.m. to noon July 21 and 28 at Pleasant Branch Baptist Church, 601 Spruce St. in Conway.

The distribution and carnival will also be at the church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11.

"After the success of the carnival we had celebrating our 10th year, we decided to bring it back," Ester said, noting the carnival will include a variety of family-friendly activities such as bounce houses and face-painting as well as food for attendees. "Rather than just pick up school supplies and leave, they get to have some fun and see classmates they haven't seen all summer long. Last year, they had a blast."

Again this year, there will be drawings for door prizes that include gift cards to local retail shops.

"We've got awesome volunteers from elected officials and the police department to local churches," Ester said.

For more information or to donate online, visit