The School Backpack Project
I began working on the Backpack project in 1999. At the time L.O.V.E. Inc (Love in the Name of Christ) was running the project.
In 2003 they withdrew from the program and a new group God’s Grace in Action was formed. I joined the group because I did not want the Backpack Project to disappear. I was a GGIA board member and I started running the project in 2003.The Exchange Club was contributing about $250 a year to the project at that time. There were also 17 churches that contributed school supplies and backpacks to the project.
The year 2012 was the last year GGIA was part of the project The Exchange Club had been contributing about 2/3 of the supplies and most of the backpacks so we dropped the GGIA name on the budget and the backpack project became our project. We began “selling” backpacks at the auction around 2008.
The first year I took over the project we distributed 92 backpacks and 48 bags of supplies without a backpack. The last four years we have distributed 608, 625, 630 and 604 in 2015. The Backpacks are distributed to 15 elementary schools, 1 middle school and older siblings of Childhaven kids also get a backpack.
In June before school is out I contact, in most cases, the school counselor to find out how many backpacks they want for the coming year. The counselors distribute the packs we have nothing to do with who gets the backpacks.
I found a wholesale backpack source around 5 or 6 years ago and that has been a real find. The backpacks are top quality at a price around $6.00, we could not find anything comparable in the store. The past 3 years a Fred Meyer employee has offered us large quantities of supplies at Fred Meyer sale prices. This has saved so much time and effort. In prior years many of us were going from store to store picking up supplies at sale prices.
We assemble the backpacks at a local church. Besides Exchange members we have friends and Key Club members to help us with the assembly. We deliver the backpacks to the schools.
Toilet Paper Drive
This is example of toilet paper drive.