Do kids living in poverty NEED a new backpack? Not necessarily.

What they do need is hope.

Hope is the critical need we are meeting through Hope Pak. Backpacks are the specific way God has directed us to bring hope to needy kids. Hope Paks are fun and easy to assemble. Each pak should be assembled and given with joy, anticipating the glimmer of hope your unique and carefully assembled gift will bring a child.

Hope Pak was inspired by personal interactions by the founder, Shannon Kozee, with kids she encountered in her travels. In each case, a backpack and/or school supplies were the number one desire of the child to receive as a gift. Backpacks serve a practical purpose for needy kids when traveling potentially long distances to school, but they are also much more. A backpack can be a humble “status symbol” and expression of the unique character of each child.

Remember back-to-school shopping when you were a child? If you were lucky, picking out a new backpack was a huge part of the joy and anticipation of starting a new school year. Selecting the color or pattern, making sure it had all the right pockets and gadgets you wanted, the brand you liked, and then of course, making it your own. Creatively adding your name, stickers, patches, and designs in paint pen or sharpie, adding your own personality to your backpack was part of the fun.

As an ode to the memory of your own back to school days, or what you had hoped they would be, we encourage you to share the joy of a brand-new, gift-filled backpack with a child in need.