KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

For the last ten years, the Kingsport Housing Authority has raised money to provide backpacks for school children.

This year, nearly 400 kids were given backpacks.

There were lots of smiles at Lee Family Learning Center in Kingsport Thursday as children picked up their free backpacks.

The backpacks were stuffed with pencils, paper, and other supplies.

Sherrie Wisnant, the program coordinator, says that without their help, most of these children would go to school without supplies.

"We really are just trying to take the burden off the parents because most of our parents work or work part-time jobs, barely making ends meet and don't have the extra dollars to go buy a backpack and school supplies for their kid," said Wisnant.

More backpacks will be handed out Friday.

The first day of school is Monday in Kingsport.