Project Backpack and The Value of An Education
My father has always told me: “Your education is one thing they can never take away from you.” No matter what hardships, judgments, or losses we must face, our education will always be ours to keep. I believe that an education is truly priceless. I think that’s why I was so eager to participate when I learned about Project Backpack, a school supply drive, which benefits a nonprofit called Solutions At Work. They partner with individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in the Boston Area.
Each year we receive an email about Project Backpack asking us to help make the school year a little brighter, for our neighbors in need, by helping kids in grades K-5 get the school supplies they need. We receive a list of suggested donations including pencils, notebooks, dictionaries, and backpacks to drop off at our building. Each year I print out a copy of the list and keep it in my purse for the next time I’m near a store like Staples. There are tons of great deals on school supplies this time of year. I recently found very nice notebooks for just fifty cents each! Deals like those make it easy to make a number of donations to kids and families who really need it. The drop box next to our front door makes it very easy to drop off our donations on our way in to work.
Project Backpack also reminds me to encourage our schools to create Fund-A-Need items in their fall auctions. Fund-A-Need items are essentially very specific donations like the list we receive for Project Backpack. A Fund-A-Need item could be a Buy Now Only item for $25 toward school supplies. A bidder can know they’ve helped a lot of kids with one click. Bidders respond very well to these types of items. They know exactly how they are helping, they can donate even if they don’t win an item, and if nothing else grabs them, they can buy a bunch of Fund-A-Need items.
Donations like notebooks, pens, index cards, and glue sticks might seem very simple. But I believe that they are still really important . These are the physical tools that children need to learn. These donations also help our teachers. In recent years, many teachers are paying for these school supplies out of their own pocket. Every donation counts.
On a more personal note, I hope that a notebook I donated will help a young student start their school year off on the right foot. I also hope that it will be a small contribution to an education that that student will one day know is priceless.