Backpacks 4 LAUSD Kids

GIVING SPIRT PARTNERS WITH LAUSD TO PROVIDE 6,000 BACKPACKS TO HOMELESS STUDENTS

#Backpacks4LAUSDKids is the first initiative of its kind with LAUSD and launches The Bravelings Project

It may come as much of a shock to you as it did to us that 17,280 of the total body of 600,000 LAUSD students self-identify as homeless, namely, that they are living in shelters, motels, abandoned buildings, cars, doubled up with other families or, at worst, are living on the streets. They also primarily rely on school cafeterias for meal security. This knowledge sparked the The Bravelings Project, an umbrella platform for all initiatives between The Giving Spirit and its partners at the Los Angeles Unified School District, with the LAUSD Homeless Education Program at the center of all activities, with Tammy Wood, Sr. Parent Community Facilitator, LAUSD HEP, at the helm.

This one-of-a-kind partnership launches with an initiative entitled Backpacks 4 LAUSD Kids. The Giving Spirit has already begun sourcing 6,000 backpacks and contents – to be delivered to 3,600 elementary school students and 2,400 middle and high school students during December 3, 2020-January 31, 2021.

We are collectively intent on spreading hope by letting these children know that they are cared for, loved and not forgotten. We envision that #Backpacks4LAUSDkids will develop into a broader spectrum of outreach to this very vulnerable population, our homeless children, our bravelings.

We are seeking your valuable help to bring this project to fruition. Already, Councilmember Mike Bonin (D), 11th District, has graciously donated use of a Westchester facility where The Giving Spirit leadership team and a few socially distanced volunteers will assemble backpacks over 7-10 consecutive days. Thereafter, LAUSD will undertake delivery of the backpacks to those most needy throughout each of the six LAUSD districts.

After we have delivered on this initiative, we intend to include community partners outside of the LAUSD system to scale the program to touch the lives of all 17,280 students – a number that will likely increase due growing homelessness in the region.

The Bravelings Project Background:

  • The Bravelings Project was ideated in 2020 to provide tangible goods, services and care to LAUSD homeless students on an on-going basis through different initiatives.
  • The first Bravelings Project initiative is sourcing and distribution of 6,000 backpacks to children facing housing insecurity from K-12, known as Backpacks 4 LAUSD Kids, using the hashtag #Backpacks4LAUSDKids across all social media platforms.
  • The Giving Spirit will source, pack and deliver 6,000 backpacks in two phases to the LAUSD team for distribution. The first batch of 3,600 backpacks will be delivered to elementary students prior to dismissal for winter holidays.
  • The next 2,400 backpacks will be delivered to LAUSD for distribution to middle and high school students early into the 2021 school year
  • Each backpack will be filled with school supplies, articles of daily living and small holiday gifts for the students – intended for sharing with their families.

What is The Bravelings Project?

The Bravelings Project is an umbrella heading for all initiatives between The Giving Spirit and its partners at the Los Angeles Unified School District, with the LAUSD Homeless Education Program at the center of all activities. The lead point person is Tammy Wood, Sr. Parent Community Facilitator, LAUSD HEP.

 

What is the Backpacks 4 LAUSD Kids initiative?

 It is the inaugural program to provide 6,000 backpacks to 3,600 elementary school students and 2,400 middle and high school students during December 3, 2020-January 31, 2021. The Giving Spirit is sourcing and producing the backpacks at a Westchester facility over 7-10 consecutive days during which time socially distanced volunteers will assemble the backpacks for delivery to LAUSD. The facility was graciously donated by Councilmember Mike Bonin (D), 11th District. Thereafter, LAUSD will undertake delivery of the backpacks to those most needy throughout each of the six LAUSD districts.

 

Why are the Initiative and Program Important?

17,280 of the total body of 600,000 LAUSD students are homeless or living with shelter insecurity. These children self-identify as homeless, namely, that they are living in shelters, motels, abandoned buildings, cards, doubled up with other families or, at worst, are living on the streets. They also rely on school cafeterias for meal security. Through this holiday initiative we aspire to bring hope and joy by letting these children know that there are cared for, loved and not forgotten. It is our vision that #Backpacks4LAUSDkids will develop into a broader spectrum of outreach to this very vulnerable population, our homeless children, our bravelings.

Our Goal:

To leverage the #Backpacks4LAUSDkids initiative into an on-going outreach program with specific initiatives intended to better lives of LAUSD students living with housing insecurity. We aspire to include community partners outside of the LAUSD system to scale the program to touch the lives of all 17,280 students – a number that will likely increase due growing homelessness in the region.

How Can You Help (CTA)?

In-Kind Donations, Corporate Sponsorships: Our community partners can help by sponsoring or securing large quantity-donations of items earmarked for the backpacks. In order to ensure fair and equal value in each backpack, the minimum quantity per item is 6,000 units. We are seeking sponsorship or donation of items that include but are not limited to: school supplies, hygiene products, and small gifts such as pens, pencils, notebooks, calculators, rulers, highlighters, pencil boxes, erasers, crayons, colored markers, binders, jump ropes, small games, puzzles, water bottles, carabiners, glue sticks, notebook paper, dividers, shampoo, conditioner, wash clothes, small towels, tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, band aids, antibacterial gel, sanitizer, antiseptic – and other such items.

Cash Donations: Our organization prefers to receive cash donations as we have established vendors with preferred non-profit rates for a broad range of products which allows us to maximally stretch our donation dollars.

Engage with us on Social Media: First, like or follow @TheGivingSpirit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Check our social media platforms regularly and share our posts on your own social platforms using the hashtag #Backpacks4LAUSDkids

Forward our Emails: You will receive periodic emails with news on this initiative and other The Giving Spirit endeavors. Please forward these emails and newsletters to friends and family whom you feel might be interested in helping local homeless students.

Volunteering: We are unable to offer volunteering opportunities except for a handful of supporters in observation of an abundance of caution. If you wish to be considered we will gladly add you to our wait list, although we do not anticipate outreach to resume until late 2021 or 2022.Backpacks 4 LAUSD KIds Poster

Watch and Share Video: Please share video on your social media.