Back Pack Project - 2012 - Update
A big thank you to everyone who made our 4th Daily Bread Backpack Giveaway a big success!! Our best estimate is that we ended up with over 1,000 backpacks. They came into the Soup Kitchen so quickly and in such quantities that we quickly lost an accurate count! We gave away over 700 stuffed backpacks on Thursday in just under three hours. The weather was sort of cooperative. It drizzled, but the temperature didn't drop and the snow didn't begin until the last person got a backpack. The sun even came out briefly. Our guests waited patiently in a line that stretched for several blocks. One enterprising guest actually showed up with a tent while others brought lawn chairs. Santa even showed up and passed out cookies to guests waiting in line. We had approximately 300 backpacks left over that we gave out after Christmas to guests who were unable to attend the giveaway.
We want to thank all of you who were so generous with your donations. A special thanks to those who volunteered to sort a mountain of backpacks, to those who helped in so many ways on Thursday, and a special thanks to the Thursday crew who prepared over 500 sack lunches forthe guests who came to pick up backpacks.
A very, merry Christmas to all our Daily Bread friends!!
Back Pack Project - 2012
It’s backpack time again at Daily Bread. Daily Bread Soup Kitchen will once again celebrate the holidays by giving filled backpacks to the men and women who are our guests at lunch. The Champaign-Urbana community is very generous to children at Christmastime through such projects as Shop with a Cop, Salvation Army Toy Store, toy drives, etc. But the men and women we see daily are rarely remembered. For many, these backpacks will be their only presents.
Bakpacks will be given away on Thursday, Dec. 20 beginning at 11:00 am. There will be NO hot lunch served that day. All backpack recipients will be given a sack lunch along with their backpack. Wednesday, Dec. 19th will be sorting and organizing day. We will begin with the sorting immediately after soup kitchen lunch is over. Last year we gave away over 800 backpacks. We're assuming that we will need that many or more this year.
Backpacks should be stuffed with toiletries such as deodorant, hand lotion for hands chapped by the cold, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shaving cream, etc, cold weather items such as gloves, hats, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, tee shirts, long underwear, and regular underwear. Other appreciated items include hand warmers, cough drops, books, decks of cards, small fleece blankets, candy, gum, food items. All items should be new. We are asking that all backpacks be new or nearly new as well. All backpacks should be labelled with the gender and size of recipient (i.e., Man-XL). We found last year that most of our guests requested at least a size Large, most preferred XL. There is also a need for some 2X and 3X bags. Children’s backpacks need to be labelled by gender and age of the child. We would also like to have a few filled diaper bags available.
We will need volunteers for sorting and stuffing backpacks on Wednesday and for passing out backpacks on Thursday. Backpacks will be sorted by gender and size and placed in individual classrooms to facilitate the distribution.
Filled backpacks should be dropped off beginning the week of Monday Dec. 10. Backpacks can be dropped off at Daily Bread, 124 West White, Champaign during the week from 9-1. We would encourage you to use the back door when dropping off backpacks. Backpacks can also be dropped off at Ellen Harms’ (705 S. Elm Blvd. 356-2551) or at Pam Hagle’s (713 S. Elm Blvd. 359-3245). Please make sure that you leave your name when you drop off backpacks. Tax forms will be available at drop off sites.
If you have any questions or if you would like to volunteer to help, please call or e-mail Ellen at 356-2551 email@example.com
Back Pack December 31, 2011 Update
The Daily Bread leadership wishes to let you all know that, thanks to many of you and thanks to the incredible generosity of the Champaign-Urbana community, the Daily Bread Backpack Project was a huge success. We're estimating that well over 800 filled backpacks were donated, as well as a large amount of additional socks, gloves, hats, blankets, toiletries, etc. With the help of many cheerful, enthusiastic volunteers, we sorted the backpacks on Tuesday, December 20th by size and gender, we added extra items to packs that seemed a little light, and we filled donated packs that had arrived empty. And then, again with the help of wonderful volunteers, on Wednesday, December 21st, we passed out over 550 backpacks in less than two hours! Amazing!! Our guests lined up along Randolph street in a line several blocks long and enjoyed cookies from Santa as they waited their turn to pick up a backpack. Also Amazing!
Just about everything conspired to make the Project a success. The weather was balmy for December which made the wait outside not too bad. We were blessed with an incredible number of backpacks so everyone went home with a well stuffed pack. Although we were once again close to running out of women's packs, we were able to find a pack for every woman who showed up. It was truly a very special day at Daily Bread!
We gave away another 200 or so backpacks on Thursday and Friday to Soup Kitchen guests who hadn't received a pack earlier or to guests who asked for an additional pack to share with a family member unable to attend the give-away. We have reserved several backpacks to have on hand for guests who arrive at the Soup Kitchen throughout the winter in need of warm clothing and toiletries, and we'll be passing out leftover hats, socks, and gloves to guests who show up for sack lunches and coffee at our weekend mobile van.
We at Daily Bread are so grateful for the generosity of our volunteers and supporters.