Family Giving Tree (FGT) launched its student-led volunteer program to give kids and teenagers the opportunity to help underserved children in their own community and begin their philanthropic endeavors with the support of FGT.
Working with their parent or guardian’s guidance, kids can run a backpack or school supply drive and provide much-needed school supplies to help students from low-income families. It kicks off as part of the 2021 Backpack Comeback campaign to help prepare all students as they return to the classroom in the fall and continues year-round to provide desperately needed school supplies when pens, pencils, and paper dwindle in the new year.
Designed with lots of options and helpful tools so kids can create a drive that matches their style, backpacks and supplies can be collected in person or funds can be raised online through their personalized Virtual Giving Tree. Besides helping kids who need it, the Drive will also give them a great summer project offering teachable moments for the adult(s) in their lives: diversity, equity, and inclusion; the cost of goods, and how to stick to a budget; how to write and give a “sales pitch,” and more.
“In the Bay Area alone, there are over 350,000 students who qualify for the National Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program which is the basis we use to determine eligibility to receive a new backpack filled with school supplies,” FGT Executive Director and CEO, Jennifer Cullenbine said. “Since 1996 it has been our goal to provide help to as many of these kids as we can and children have always been a part of our volunteer efforts. Because we can’t welcome kids under 12 into our warehouse this summer, the Kids Pay it Forward program provides other ways in which they can get involved and do some good.”