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Backpack Stories

Life is about stories. Let's face it. Numbers and statistics make us feel really smart... and they show the impact of the program from a 10,000 foot view. Knowing things like we've delivered more than 18,000 bags of food to children is a big deal. Being able to say that those 18,000 bags of food represents almost 90,000 lbs of food that went to fill a hungry tummy... that's important.

But what makes it crucial is to know the stories. Like Maria, who passed out in her English class down the street from us... she's the one who put this mission in our hearts. As a 16yo couch surfer, bouncing from her aunt's house to a friend's house to her cousin's house, she needed the stability of having regular access to food. Working a part-time job and trying to keep up her grades... how could we not get involved?

Then there's Justin, one of our 4th grade coloring contest winners who, by winning, took home a complete turkey dinner for his entire family. Watching his laughter and excitement turn to tears of gratitude melted our hearts. As the oldest of three, he felt the weight of responsibility to provide food for his family. And taking home a bounty of holiday food to his mom was a huge deal.

Of course, who could forget Marquis? That rambunctious first grader with a mop of curly hair... he couldn't sit still, couldn't pay attention, couldn't keep up with his assignments... and was running off to the nurse's office twice a week. His PE coach wanted to have him tested for ADHD. But knowing that 53% of kids that visit the nurse do so because they are hungry, his teacher helped him get enrolled in our program. Would it surprise you to know that he started turning in his assignments? That his peer relationships have stabilized? That his anxiety and nervous emotion seem to have subsided to the point that he's not running to the nurse's office anymore?

Yes, numbers are important. But stories help us show the true impact on a child. The faces. The giggles. The mischievous grins. The anxiety. The names of children on our site have been changed for their protection, but the stories are real. The impact is real. The way YOU are changing their future in tangible, measurable moments is truly amazing.

We can't thank you enough for your support. Without you, there would be no happy ending to the stories.

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