The Blue Ribbon Project's Backpacks of Love program provides backpacks directly to children going into care. Each backpack is age and gender specific, and has 24-48 hours of NEW essential and comfort items. They are delivered to youth as soon as they enter foster care (ideally within a couple hours). Below, you will find a list of each age and gender, and what is included in a backpack for that child.
If you or your organization are buildling backpacks to donate, we have a huge favor to ask of you. Please print the packing list for the backpack you choose. Then, use that page to check off items you are placing in the backpack. Leave that printed page inside of the backpack. We will check that list to see if there are any missing items, and add them.
A few tips:
- Every little contribution helps these kids. If you want to fill an entire backpack for an age, that is great. If you just want to donate clothes or toys, that's still very helpful. Do not feel obligated to purchase everything on the list, if that's outside of your budget.
- These backpacks are designed for those first 24 to 48 hours in care. When it comes to toiletries, you can use either travel size or full size.
- Children's development can vary, especially when it comes to abused or neglected children. For instance, a child may be using a pacifier much later than your child did.
- Kids come in all shapes and sizes and this makes purchasing clothing tricky. Please make sure pants have elastic waists and can stretch.
- If you are packing your own backpack, you do not have to include everything on this list. It is important to get these items to children, however, we do not want you to break the budget doing so. This is why we ask that you print and include the checklist so our staff knows what needs to be added to your backpack.
- Please make sure all items in the backpack are NEW, ideally with tags. We want the kids receiving these bags to know that everything in them is new.