Pack A Backpack



May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity raise awareness of the experiences and needs of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign also encourages the community to get involved and support these young people.    Youth in foster care often have few personal belongings and carry the items they do have in trash bags as they are shuffled from place to place.

  • 52% of the children and youth in the foster care system are male
  • 53% of the teens whose parents had their parental rights terminated were male.
  • Every year, approximately 30,000 young people leave the foster care system without lifelong families – most at age 18.


Pack A Backpack Drive is our annual National Foster Care Month event.  During the month of May we will collect and distribute new and gently used backpacks & new personal hygiene items to teenage males in group homes, foster homes, and homeless shelters.

BACKPACKS NEEDED: College & sports team backpacks are great but solid, dark colors are best (in good condition only). Duffle bags, messenger bags, and knapsacks also accepted.



Toothbrush        Toothpaste         Mouthwash

Comb                   Brush                 Shaving Items

Deodorant          Soap                   Body Wash

Lotion                  Nail Clippers     ChapStick/Blistex

Shampoo            Hand Sanitizer  Acne Cleanser




We surpassed our National Foster Care Awareness Month Second Annual Pack A Backpack Drive goal and collected 210 backpacks (duffel bags and knapsacks) filled with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters during the months of May and June 2013. 


The backpacks were donated to eight organizations:

  1. Child and Family Services Agency
  2. Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Independent Living Program
  3. Howard County Department of Social Services
  4. Hearts & Homes For Youth
  5. DC Family and Youth Initiative
  6. Aunt Hattie’s Place
  7. Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center
  8. A Step Closer Foundation


We are grateful to our generous donors.  THANK YOU:

  • Mike Lotocki and All Pro Team Sports
  • Saint Francis Academy
  • Julie Coulter
  • Sharon Lucasi
  • Watkins Hornets Youth Association
  • Mervo Mustangs Football Booster Club, Inc
  • Baltimore Stallions
  • Prince George’s Community College student organizations
  • Carolyn and Arthur Harris
  • Lillian Fassett
  • Kim Gilmore  
  • Veleta Holloway
  • Chonya Davis-Johnson and derf
  • Florida Avenue Baptist Church Men’s Ministry
  • Barbara Morrison
  • Nicki and JaMai Sanders


A special THANK YOU to our Ambassadors:

  1. Jannie McNeil-Hayes of Coalition on of Adoption Programs
  2. Andrea Bryant and Paulett McIntosh of Prince George’s Community College
  3. Christine Haley-Thomas and Serena Hargraves of Watkins Hornets Youth Association


Backpack 13 collage




We surpassed our First Annual Pack A Backpack Drive National Foster Care Awareness Month goal and collected 43 backpacks filled with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters in the Washington Metropolitan area during the month of May 2012.  The 46 backpacks were donated to KidsPeace, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Independent Living Program, Hearts & Homes For Youth, DC Family and Youth Initiative, and KOBA Institute, Inc.  Brooke Boersma collected 10 backpacks on the west coast and delivered them to Creative Alternatives in Turlock, CA.


We are grateful to our generous donors. Thank you:

  • Carolyn and Arthur Harris
  • Laurie Laven Nardinelli
  • Brooke Boersma
  • Crystal Morgan Marable
  • Laila El-Asmar
  • Phyllis Lewis
  • Patricia McBryde
  • Katrina Carter
  • Way of the Cross Church
  • Erica Bigelow
  • Julia Knight
  • Kathy Bumpass
  • Alicia Allen
  • Bukky Kehinde
  • Victory International Church
  • Power of Redemption Ministries
  • Sisters Keeper, Inc
  • Shutdown Academy
  • Michael Bigelow
  • Chonya D. Johnson
  • Nicki and JaMai Sanders


During the month of May 2012, The Teen Toolbox blog was dedicated to sharing the challenges and triumphs of teen males in foster care through interviews with current foster youth, foster parents, foster care alumni, and educators.  You can read the National Foster Care Month blog series by clicking on the ‘National Foster Care Month” tab on the right side of the site.

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