This year marked the 14th annual Backpack and School Supply Drive for D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s (DABSJ). The past few months have been filled with uncertainty for many people. Jobs have gone remote, vacations have been canceled, events have been postponed, and school buildings have been closed. To be honest, a couple months ago we weren’t sure if we would be having the backpack drive this year. We weren’t sure if students would even be back in school.
The more we thought about it though, the clearer it became to us that we needed to continue with hosting the drive. It’s in times like these that the kids and families we serve need us more than ever. We realized that many students need these supplies, whether they are learning at school or at home. So we decided to get creative and launch our very first Virtual Backpack Drive.
We partnered with an organization called the Sydney Paige Foundation. We’ve worked with them in the past, and they could offer an online backpack drive option that would be safe and easy for everyone to participate in.
With only a few weeks in between our launch date and deadline, we had a big goal to achieve - raising enough money to purchase 400 backpacks and supply kits for the kids we serve.
Did you see our Live Local. Give Local. segment on eightWest & WoodTV?
With continued Facebook and Instagram reminders, one eblast, and the incredible support of our generous community, we were able to exceed our goal and have raised over $13,600.
Thank you so much to every single person or organization who shared the drive information and donated. The response that we received from our community was truly wonderful. Thank you for stepping up for the kids in our care.
Our total raised was $13,604 - THANK YOU!
With your help, we are able to provide children with a little bit of extra confidence going into the new school year, no matter what that may look like this upcoming academic year.
The backpacks provided from this drive make an impact far beyond just one school year. I was able to chat with Jody, one of our social workers about the importance of the backpack drive and she said something that stuck with me that I’d like to share with you all:
“It’s been awhile since I had ‘littles’ on my caseload, but I can attest to my clients who have grown, and who have been discharged from care, asking about getting a backpack each fall. Often these young people are looking forward to college, or they use them for getting themselves back and forth to work (stuffing their uniforms in there, or bringing their lunches, etc.), or they have their own babies and need some help getting them set up for school. The community’s generosity makes a lasting impact.”
Once the backpacks are shipped I’ll be posting more updates, so stay tuned! And again, we are grateful for the incredible generosity of our community. The support YOU provide helps us live up to our mission of helping children and empowering families.
We received our backpacks from Sydney Paige last week and were able to distribute them this week to over 400 kids! Thank you so much to everyone who donated to help make this possible. Watch the video below to see how pick-up week went for our staff!
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About Allyssa Murphy
Allyssa's journey in the nonprofit world began in 2016 when she started working as a marketing assistant at a small residential facility for foster children in Flint, Michigan. This is where her passion for advocating for children's rights began. She later joined the DABSJ team in 2017.
Her hobbies include planning vacations - but never taking them, game nights with friends, keeping up with the latest movies and TV shows, and visiting friends and family on the other side of the mitten.
Allyssa graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Nonprofit Administration. She also has an associate's degree in Media Arts from Mott Community College.