How a Backpack Can Change a Child

Backpacks for Appalachian kids

How a Backpack Can Change a Child

Backpacks for Appalachian kidsA school backpack. It’s something that so many of us buy each year before school without a second thought. We fill it with the required school supplies and then watch our little ones go off to school, proud of their super awesome new backpack and excited to use the new supplies.

However, it isn’t like that for some kids.

In the scheme of most of our lives, it seems like such a small thing — a backpack filled with some goodies. However, for many Appalachian kids that we serve it is a big deal.

Some of these families can’t afford backpacks for their kids and, to make it worse, if the kids show up to school without backpacks they get into trouble. Some of the families might not be able to afford the required school supplies because they’re too busy focusing on where their next meal comes from instead.

So, while it may seem minor in our lives, giving backpacks with a few extras tucked away inside is huge for many.

It gives these kids a sense of dignity — something that is their own, just for them. One thing that will, for a special moment, make them just like every other kid at school — something that doesn’t happen for these kids often.

That’s why we participate in the back-to-school backpack drive every year. This year, we will be providing 1,500 filled backpacks to kids in Adams County, Ohio.

It sounds crazy to say a backpack can give a child dignity, but I’ve seen it happen right in front of me. I’ve seen the pride in a child’s eyes as they put on their backpack and walk out of the building with a renewed purpose — one that includes them fitting in for a change.

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