FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Parker White
January 14, 2013 (Greensboro, NC)- Community businesses have been stepping up to help BackPack Beginnings, a local non-profit who feeds children in need on the weekends and provides comfort items to children in traumatic situations. Most recently, The Fresh Market kicked off a partnership with BackPack Beginnings with a food and supply drive amongst its corporate employees and store managers. 2,400 Bags of food and 100 Comfort backpacks were collected. Comfort backpacks provide children who are homeless, in foster care, neglected/abused, or in refugee situations with bags full of items such as blankets, hygiene items, toys, and school supplies. BackPack Beginnings also provides bags of food to over 700 local children in need every weekend throughout the school year. Fresh Market employees donated and stuffed over 3,400 items and put together all of the bags during their Manager’s Meeting. “Everyone felt they had contributed to such a great charity,” says Drewry Sackett, Public & Community Relations Manager, “and we look forward to working with BackPack Beginnings again in the future.” Parker White, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director, is thrilled with The Fresh Market’s recent donation “The Fresh Market is a caring, family-centered local corporation and we are appreciative of all of their support.”
BackPack Beginnings, founded in 2010 by Parker White, a native of Greensboro and mother of 2 children, is a 100% volunteer-run and donor-driven organization. This school year, the Food BackPack Program sends nutritious, kid-friendly food home on the weekend to over 700 children who receive free or reduced-price meals at 18 Guilford County Title 1 schools and Head Start programs. The Comfort BackPack program was added this summer and provides comfort and care to children during transition from abuse/neglect, foster, homeless and refugee settings. Over 600 Comfort backpacks have been handed out so far and over 200 are scheduled to be distributed this quarter.
This past week, the Barnes and Noble on Friendly Avenue donated over 6,000 of items collected during their Holiday supply drive, including over 3000books, 2400 milks, 770 granola bars and 10 stuffed animals. The food will go a long way in helping fill the food backpacks, and the books will be distributed to both children within both the Food and Comfort Programs. Parker White, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director, is thrilled with local businesses’ recent support “Over the past year, we have received a tremendous outpouring of assistance and donations from companies and small businesses. Barnes and Noble just had an amazing supply drive, Commonwealth Hosiery Mills has provided hundreds of socks, and others such as Merck, Wells Fargo, CBRE, BB&T, Tanger Outlets and Kohls to name a few, have become recent donors and volunteers. We are incredibly appreciative of all of their support!” White attributes increased awareness of the community’s need to the growing support from businesses. “Most people are shocked when they hear of the number of children in need right here in Guildford County. Over 56.58% of children in our school system qualifies for free or reduced price school meals. That is over 41,000 children.”
United Healthcare significantly impacted the BackPack Beginnings program with a $16,685 check. “We were overwhelmed by their tremendous support,” says White of the donation. “The funds raised will sponsor Shiloh Head Start in Greensboro and Union Hill Elementary in High Point feeding a total of 96 students for this entire school year. We are so honored by United Healthcare employee’s generosity.” United Healthcare raised money through a Dancing with the Stars charity event at the O’Henry Hotel.
Next up? This February, all 700 children receiving food backpacks from BackPack Beginnings will also get a toothbrush and toothpaste included in their bag. Local dentists Dr. Graham Farless, DDS, Dr. Scott Cashion, DDS, Dr. Richard Redding, DDS and Dr. Charles Norman, DDS have donated toothbrushes and toothpastes to the program. More is still needed to hit the program’s goal.
If you would like to support BackPack Beginnings through in-kind donations, funding or volunteering, please contact Parker White at email@example.com or visit the organization online at www.backpackbeginnings.org.
About BackPack Beginnings
BackPack Beginnings, founded in 2010 by Parker White, a native of Greensboro and mother of 2 children, is a 100 percent volunteer-run and donor-driven organization. What started out as a feeding program in one school feeding 50 children has grown to a multi-program organization serving approximately 3,000 children a year. During the 2014-15 school year, the Food BackPack Program sends nutritious, kid-friendly food home on the weekends to over 1,300 children in 25 Guilford County Title 1 schools and Head Start programs. If you would like to find out more or support BackPack Beginnings through in-kind donations, funding or volunteering, please contact Parker White at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.backpackbeginnings.org.com.