UWNEMN hosts emergency bag packing session for ISD 2142

Led by school resource officer, Deputy Brock Kick, educators and administrators from St. Louis County School District packed 200 “Grab and Go” emergency bags for their schools in one hour last week at the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) building in Chisholm.

The bags will be in every classroom in all five ISD 2142 schools – North Woods, Northeast Range, Tower-Soudan, Cherry, and South Ridge – when school starts this fall. Each bag contains: a notebook, clipboard, permanent marker, pen, pencil, whistle, roll of duct tape, coil of rope, toilet paper, gauze, band aids, medical tape, rubber gloves, hand sanitizer, and Kleenex and will be stored in an easy-access location for teachers to use in case of an emergency.


Deputy Kick’s experience as a school resource officer and conversations with teachers inspired the project. The bags and their items were selected to be used in the case of fires, medical incidents, school intruders, and even on field trips.


“We hope there is never an emergency that requires these bags be used,” he said. “But we know it’s best to be prepared for any situation. The materials in these bags, the mobility of the backpacks, and the training we’ll provide can prevent injuries and may even save lives.”


School district Superintendent Reggie Engebritson volunteered to help pack “Grab and Go” bags and said she is grateful for Deputy Kick for spearheading this initiative.


“I really appreciate all that the local United Way and Deputy Kick have done to help make our schools safer, and I was glad to have been there to help pack some of the bags,” she said.


This project was made possible through collective funding efforts. The Essentia Health Foundation provided a $2,500 grant to purchase a portion of the supplies, and UWNEMN provided a $2,000 grant to purchase backpacks. In addition, materials for the emergency bags were donated by Menard’s, Target, the Virginia Fire Department, the Tower Ambulance Service, a community drive through American Bank, and UWNEMN.


“We were proud to be a part of this effort and to host the packing event for these emergency bags,” said UWNEMN Community Impact and Engagement Director Erin Shay. “Helping local children succeed and keeping them safe and healthy are core values for the United Way.”


The “Grab and Go” bags will now be delivered to each of the five St. Louis County School District locations, along with separate emergency bags for each of the schools’ administrative offices.