Global Backpack Project

Global Backpack Project's mission is to encourage a desire for learning by helping children feel prepared for school. With the help of local communities and partner organizations, we seek to make a difference in the lives of children, just as they seek to make a difference for themselves and their communities.
Feb 19, 2014

GBP Volunteers Visit Goose Hollow Family Shelter

GBP Volunteers at Goose Hollow
GBP Volunteers at Goose Hollow

Greetings from Global Backpack Project.

GBP volunteers, including eight grade school students, received an in-depth tour of the Goose Hollow Homeless Shelter last month.  Matt Kertman of Portland Homeless Family Solutions, parent organization of the Goose Hollow shelter, graciously explained how the shelter operates with a tour of the entire facility housed in the First United Methodist Church in SW Portland.  Matt coordinates the more than 500 volunteers who make Goose Hollow the success that it is.  Last year, it helped secure permanent housing for more than 150 families in the Portland metropolitan area.  

During the visit, GBP junior volunteers presented Matt with sturdy new backpacks and school supplies for the children currently staying at the shelter.  This is the third year that GBP has partnered with Portland Homeless Family Solutions to support the education of the children at the shelter.  "We are pleased to partner with such an important community organization as PHFS." says GBP Co-Founder, Karla Bean.  "Our hope is that a new backpack filled with school supplies will give confidence and hope to a child facing homelessness."  GBP delivers backpacks and school supplies to the shelter throughout the year.

Junior volunteers delivering backpacks & supplies
Junior volunteers delivering backpacks & supplies
A tour of the laundry facility at Goose Hollow
A tour of the laundry facility at Goose Hollow

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Nov 20, 2013

Helping girls and boys stay in school

Nankabirwa is a six year old girl at Bwetyaaba Primary School. Having lost her mother this year and left to the care of her ailing grandmother, Nankabirwa has found consolation in being able to go to school. She enjoys her time at school learning with her friends. However, since the death of her mother, securing books, pens, pencils and money for lunch has been very difficult. Nankabirwa is thankful to organizations like BUVAD and Global Backpack Project for helping children like her stay in school.

The current enrollment at the Bwetayaaba Primary School consists of 656 girls and boys. Forty-eight of these children have taken their Primary Leaving Examinations and are on their way to join the secondary section. In January of 2014, the start of the school year for children in Uganda, the school will welcome 80 new kids graduating from kindergarten. This will bring the school's enrollment to near 700.

For many of the children, attendance at school can be challenging. Lack of school supplies, backpacks, school uniforms and lunch fees make it hard for them to participate in school. Many of the girls find themselves entering into marriage, inevitably leading them to drop out of school completely. The boys look for odd jobs to supplement their family’s income and acquire school supplies and household items; often times, they end up leaving school to continue working to help their families. The situation becomes worse during the planting season as parents rely on their children to help with the farming and consider this a priority over school. Families are faced with having to choose between food and school.

By providing backpacks, school supplies and uniforms, Global Backpack Project is helping families to not have to make the difficult choice of choosing food over school. We know that education is critical to improving quality of life. Our challenge is to ensure that every girl and boy has the necessary tools so they can stay and succeed in school and life. In the immediate, Global Backpack Project has joined a global movement that is focused on a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. #GivingTuesday is a campaign that celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday 2013. Global Backpack Project will be reaching out to its supporters to take part in this day by donating $25 to help one child stay and succeed in school. We hope you'll join us in this effort.

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Oct 17, 2013

Portland and Vancouver Kids Start School on the Right Foot

Back to School Fun Run
Back to School Fun Run

Greetings from Global Backpack Project.

The back-to-school season was a great success, thanks to the support of our local community and partner organizations. More than 400 children in Portland and Vancouver will have sturdy new backpacks and school supplies for the school year. Thanks to you, they have the necessary tools for a successful and productive year.  

In Multnomah County alone, 46% of children are considered poor or low-income. That's nearly half of all children in the community. This year, GBP provided new backpacks and school supplies to organizations that support at-risk children in the Portland/Vancouver area: Portland Homeless Family Solutions, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Second Step Housing, and New Avenues for Youth.  

Thank you to our local community and business partners for taking part in our back-to-school fundraising activities this year. Our second annual Back to School Fun Run on August 25th was a great success, raising more than $12,000 in funds and donated backpacks and supplies. Through the Back to School Fun Run, we aim to foster community involvement by putting backpacks and school supplies in the hands of children so they may have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We all had a wonderful time at the Fun Run and look forward to next year.

The 2013 GBP Benefit Raffle concluded on October 4th and was a huge success. Portland resident Ron Herring and his family organized, procured local prizes and donated a week in Belize for the grand prize. The raffle raised nearly $4000 for GBP. Many thanks to Cap'n Ron and to the local business and individuals who contributed to the benefit raffle.   

GBP is pleased to have Umpqua Bank as a new partner in our efforts to support at-risk children in Portland and Vancouver. Our friends at Umpqua Bank sponsored the Back to School Fun Run, provided free ice cream to participants at the fun run, held a backpack and school supply drive at the Multnomah Village branch, and awarded GBP a grant for backpacks and supplies. We are grateful for everything Umpqua has done to make this year our best year yet.    

Our friends at Eddie Bauer in Washington Square had a terrific backpack drive on August 10th, collecting 41 high-quality backpacks for GBP. They also sponsored the water station at the fun run, making sure our runners stayed hydrated and healthy at the event. Stay tuned for the next backpack drive at the Eddie Bauer store in Washington Square.  

This year, GBP will give new backpacks and school supplies to more than 1300 homeless and at-risk girls and boys around the globe. As a nonprofit that is run entirely by volunteers, it is the dedication and hard work of committed individuals that makes this possible. We are especially grateful to our core volunteers: Brittany Stover, Darci Nielson, Emmanuelle Jarmon, Jennifer Donovan, Lynn Joyce, Reena Gupta and Thad Jarmon. They have contributed countless hours to ensure children have the tools they need to succeed in school and life.

GBP is pleased to be part of such a great community. Thank you for making a difference.

With gratitude,

Karla Bean and Samir Naser

Founders

Umpqua Bank Ice Cream Truck
Umpqua Bank Ice Cream Truck

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