As we close out our 6th year of collecting school supplies and monetary donations to “Help Send Children To School With The Supplies They Need” we once again have to send out a great big “THANK YOU” to all of our continued supporters. When we started the program back in 2008 we honestly never dreamed that it would grow in to the program that it is now. In our first year we distributed in 3 local towns…as of last year we are now distributing in over 25 different towns in 6 different counties including Bradford, Cameron, Lycoming, McKean, Potter and Tioga. With the continued help we hope to expand even farther.
Once again we would like to send out a big Thank You to the employees of A.P. Wagner of Coudersport. They are still supporting the program continuously throughout the year as they have done in the past. Each year they have dress down days during the year where the employees can dress down for one day with the donation of a school supply later to be donated to the To Fill A Backpack program. The location Manager Tina Rader chooses 3 items that they will collect…in 2013 they collected over 400 packs of index cards, 1000 packs of Kleenex and numerous 1 subject notebooks. Thank You again for your continued support and hope to work with you again this year.
To everyone at Erie Homes for Adults and Children who unfortunately closed their doors last year we would like to Thank You for all of the time spent putting caps on our water bottles, bundling pens and pencils, etc. Your help is much appreciated and saved us a lot of time.
To Dawn Blackman Mahon…thank you for sticking with me. Your continued help at almost every fundraiser we do is very much appreciated…probably more than you will ever know. To know that you have my back regardless of what, where or when give me the confidence I need to go ahead and schedule whatever I can to help raise funds.
To Dollar General of Coudersport…another big Thank You to employee’s for your help in collecting donations of items to help fill the backpacks. Every year your recurring question “would you like to donate your extra change to To Fill A Backpack” helps us gather supplies that are needed to fill backpacks. Thank You again for your continued support and hope to continue working with you throughout the upcoming years.
To all the businesses that offer us a place to put a supply drop bucket…without you we would probably not get the amount of donations that we do. Because of these drop off locations our supporters are able to drop off supplies, etc. without have to travel long distances. Thank You again for your help and continued support also.
To the West End Trail Blazers and the Coudersport Ambulance association…thank you very much for your cooking skills at the Chicken BBQ’s that you helped us with. Your help with our fundraising excursions is much appreciated…especially since we don’t have the skills needed to do it.
To Solomon’s Word, Endeavor News, Kiss FM and Black Forest Broadcasting…Thanks for the help in getting the word out farther than we can reach. With your help we are able to get support from the areas that we are unable to reach on a regular/daily basis.
It may seem like you see us doing a lot of fundraisers throughout the course of the year but because of the growing costs of supplies needed to fill the backpacks we are constantly on the move trying to raise money to be sure that we have what we need when it comes time to purchase backpacks. We don’t want to sit back and wait for the donations to come to us…we get out there and work for our donations.
Although the collecting, filling and distributing has pretty much come to an end that doesn't mean that we will no longer accept donations. We will continue to accept both supply and monetary donations throughout the year as well as hand out backpacks to those that request them. We may have a new family that moves in to the area, a family that loses their home to a fire, a foster child that moves in to the area or some other circumstance. If there is a need for a backpack please let us know and we will take care of it. The program runs year round...we just do the majority of our work between the months of June through September.
At this time our main objective is to raise money to be able to purchase backpacks for the 2014 distribution year. Due to the cost of purchasing a backpack we have minimal backpacks donated. We work closely with a wholesaler that offers us free shipping due to the size of our orders. We continue to look for the best pricing available to help make our funds go farther each year. In 2013 we paid approximately $3,400 just to purchase the backpacks needed to fill the requests that we received. Although our request numbers were down this year the cost of the backpacks continues to go up. Because of the monetary donations that are received we are able to purchase the backpacks that are needed.
Our current plans of fundraisers will be selling hotdogs, hamburgers, soup, etc. the first day of fishing season (April 12th) at Gustin’s Auto & Truck Service, a “donation” yard sale during the town wide yard sales in Roulette, our Meat/Grocery basket raffle that we are currently selling tickets for, an all you can eat spaghetti dinner, etc. We will also be at the town wide yard sales in Coudersport and Elkland Jubilee and of course our annual 12 Days of Christmas raffle.
Please remember that we are a 501©3 organization which means that any donation made to the To Fill A Backpack program is deductible on your following years taxes. We will gladly issue a receipt for any donation made if you would like one. Just ask for one when you mail your donation and one will be returned to you.
It has been yet another excellent year for the program and it seems to be continuing to grow. The continued support of the local communities and businesses is what makes the program work. Again…to everyone who donated, worked with the program or helped in any way...THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Your help in whatever manner is greatly appreciated and look forward to working with you again this coming year. We hope to be expanding farther this year but that will depend on if we can get the help in those areas.
If anyone would like to make a monetary donation they can send a check or money order to To Fill A Backpack - Attn: Donations - 81 Burleson Avenue - Roulette, PA 16746. You can also make a donation with a credit card by going to www.tofillabackpack.org and click on the "Make A Donation By Credit Card" at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to a secure server where you can process your donation by credit card.
Again, to all of those who helped in one way or another..."THANK YOU VERY MUCH" from the organization and the children who benefit from your generosity.
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