PROVO — Bags filled with pencils, crayons and notebooks moved down assembly lines like clockwork as Nu Skin employees and others put together school supply kits for a local charity Wednesday.

Participating in the company's seventh annual Force for Good Day, the volunteers — coworkers, parents, friends, teenagers and children — also sorted winter clothing gathered during a previous service project.

"It's a good opportunity," said Todd Wakefield, a Nu Skin employee from Pleasant Grove who brought his daughters Kayla, 10, and Sydnee, 7, to help out.

"It's great to have easy ways to help others and get my kids involved," he said as the two girls moved kits down the assembly line. "They might even be helping kids they go to school with."

That's because the 7,500 kits Wakefield, his daughters and hundreds of others assembled will be delivered by the Kids Cause Foundation, a local charity, to Utah County students whose families cannot afford school supplies.

Wakefield and his daughters said they enjoyed the afternoon, which, in addition to the service project, included a barbecue and two narratives told by local storyteller Debi Richan. Though the girls enjoyed the cookout and especially the free snow cones, "we've talked about what they're contributing to," Wakefield said. "They know what they're doing."

Representatives from local charities said the bags of supplies will meet needs in the community that existed long before the current economic recession.

"It happens far more than you would like to believe," said Bill Hulterstrom, president of United Way of Utah County, which is affiliated with Kids Cause. "Some of those basic necessities can help a child learn and ultimately be more successful as an adult."

The kits contain just a few of those necessities. While they are not directly related to learning, other needs include coats and backpacks, charity representatives said.

"It's amazing what a backpack can do for the self esteem of a child," said Chris Watkins, a Kids Cause executive. "It's unbelievable what (a project like) this will do for kids."

While Nu Skin employees take part in projects like this one that fill the needs of community members, the company also participates in service worldwide, working with its Asian markets to support the Children's Heart Fund and aiding a village in Malawi, Africa.

"Our employees and our distributors are of a mindset where they like helping other people," said Nu Skin founder Blake Roney. "We've always hoped and wished that Nu Skin would be doing more good for the world than just selling lotion. And (because of employees who volunteer) that's always been the case."

e-mail: jritter@desnews.com