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PHOENIX -- A Valley businessman kicked off a backpack and school supply drive Thursday to benefit foster children.

"I wanted to reach out to an organization that doesn't get a lot of exposure or that a lot of people don't know about," said Edson Salas, a designated broker with the Equity Executives Real Estate Group. "All backpacks and supplies will benefit the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, they'll help us distribute them to foster children."

Children enter the state's foster care system daily, often yanked from the grip of abusive family members with little to no belongings. These children are provided life's necessities from state agencies, but if it wasn't for the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, they wouldn't get the things that make every kid feel joy. From sports equipment to dance lessons, bicycles to scholarships, AFFCF is the only organization in the state that provides these "extras" for children in foster care.

"It's a really great organization, they really care about the kids," said Salas.

The goal is to collect 500 backpacks full of supplies. You can donate online at equityexecsbackpackdrive.com or stop by the southeast corner of 44th Street and Thomas in Phoenix in the Office Max parking lot on Saturday and drop off your donations. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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