By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – An 11-year-old girl from Denver and a nonprofit organization are coming together to help at-risk children. The hope is to make sure those kids have what they need as they begin their new school year.

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Hannah Kutnick, a 6th grader, spent the last part of her summer raising more than $3,000 and putting together backpacks packed with school supplies for kids in need.

Knapp Elementary School near Alameda Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard was one of four spots where volunteers delivered her donations on Wednesday.

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“It was really Hannah’s idea. She had read about another child who did something in their community and said ‘gosh, what can I do?’” said Carla Kutnick, Hannah’s mom.

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Hannah’s Backpack Bonanza benefits 300 kids and works hand-in-hand with Jewish Family Service’s program Lunchbox Express.

Giving back is nothing new for Hannah. She has been helping Colorado’s low-income youth since the age of eight.

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“When a child comes up with an idea like that, it’s hard to walk away from it. We embraced it fully, and just got so excited,” said Carla.

“I like to shop for my own school supplies. And I know a lot of kids can’t do that because they can’t afford it,” Hannah told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

(credit: Kutnick family)

For most of the children picking up bags, the supplies came just in time.

“It’s probably going to help me because you never know when you’re going to need an extra folder,” said Emilia Lopez, a 3rd grader returning to school in Jefferson County on Thursday. “It’s nice for the community to just come together and get backpacks.”

“I just have to (give a) round of applause,” said Santiago Gonzalez, a 6th grader.

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“It’s really nice of her,” said Sylvia Millan,” a child caretaker. “She’s really young to be so thoughtful of all the kids here.”

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The experience felt gratifying not only for those receiving, but also for those who were giving.

“I worked really hard to do all of it. And you get to see it kind of pay off,” Hannah said.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to


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