Even though we’re mid-Summer, thousands of kids are gearing up for the time of year when they return to school to continue their educational journey. But for some, filling up a backpack with necessary school supplies is a challenge – and that’s where For The Kid’s fundraiser, Backpack In The Park, comes into play. Because with the help of the Atlanta community, the all-volunteer board aims to raise funds for 5,000 backpacks. Peach spoke to board president Stacy Brown about the event and how he plans to fill and distribute the thousands of backpacks.
This is the first year back with an in-person event, which everyone is excited about. What do you have up your sleeve for this highly anticipated event?
First, we can’t wait to connect with the community again. We always have something up our sleeve, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to Magnolia Hall! A highlight is always the silent auction, and because we’re in person, we have invited auctioneer Dean Crownover back to do a live auction with some fabulous items. And of course, we have lots of fun and games for everyone! After Toy Party, it is evident that Atlanta is craving to come out and support For The Kid.
The mission of For The Kid In All Of Us is to raise funds for children in need all across metro Atlanta. Can you speak a little about your goals for this event?
Our goal this year is to provide backpacks to 18 plus beneficiaries in Metro Atlanta by providing 5,000 backpacks to elementary, middle, and high school kids that don’t have the necessary means to go back into the school year ready to learn. A backpack filled with school supplies takes a lot of pressure off the parents and the teachers in the classrooms – and, of course, the kids get to enjoy the start of the school year with all-new supplies.
Backpack In The Park has raised funds for backpacks since 2006. Can you share some of the incredible milestones you have achieved with this event over the years?
As a whole, FTK has raised over 36,000 backpacks to date. It takes an average of 150 volunteers to make Backpack in the Park successful every time. Besides helping at the event, we need volunteers to help unload backpacks at the warehouse and help distribute the backpacks to our beneficiaries. Over the 16 years, we have met so many amazing people who give their all when volunteering. The work we collectively do helps impact the lives of many by providing a child with a backpack. To me, that’s the most significant and most important milestone we could ever achieve.
The goal of 5,000 backpacks sounds incredible – who will be the recipients of all the backpacks?
It’s a big part of our work to make sure as many schools and organizations get access to these school supplies. We have quite a few this year! Most of our beneficiaries we have worked with before, but we also have some new ones this year. They are all so amazing, so I want to list them all here: Henry County Schools, ChildKind, Legacy of Pearls Foundation, Inc., Inspiritus, The Dr. Anise Mabry Foundation, New American Pathways, Hillside, Inc., AID Atlanta, Jerusalem House, Inc., East Lake Foundation, SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc., Iglesia Monte Sinai Atlanta, Devereux Georgia, All-1-Family, Inc., Easter Seals Children Services, CHRIS 180, Malachi’s Storehouse, Destiny World Church, Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out (H.E.R.O) for Children, Inc., Social Justice Cafe for Girls.
You can donate a virtual backpack at the event ($40), but is it still possible to bring a backpack filled with school supplies to the event?
Yes, you can always bring backpacks to the event – in fact, we love them. If you want to bring a backpack filled with school supplies, you can go to our website – forthekid.org – or to our Facebook page to see the list of supplies that need to go in it.
If you can’t attend the event, what other ways can you support For The Kid In All Of Us?
You can always help with a donation. The funds donated will support our programs around Back In The Park and Toy Party. We are also always looking for volunteers that can help out before, during, and after events. And finally, if you want to get more involved, please consider becoming a board member. We are a working board, but we also create lasting friendships and connections. You donate, become a volunteer, or apply to become a board member at forthekid.org.
Finally, give us the details about the event?
The event is Saturday, July 23rd, from 6-10 pm (with a VIP hour at 5 pm) at Magnolia Hall in Piedmont Park. Admission is a $40 donation at the door, which is the price of a full backpack. There will be a bar, a buffet, and a silent & live auction. Oh, and it’s a luau-themed garden party in case you want to dress for the occasion.