Blessings in a Backpack campaign begins

Rachel Cho, Staff Assistant

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Human Relations are participating in Blessings in a Backpack, an international campaign to feed impoverished elementary school children. On March 16, students began donating money and backpacks to help these children in need.

This organization has a partnership with the U.S. government to ensure that children are well-fed on the weekends during the school year. Blessings in a Backpack feeds nearly 59,000 children in 35 states and three countries.

SADD club advisor Ms. Lauren Giliof first presented the idea and encouraged SADD to organize the project. During Mr. Giliof’s years of teaching in a Coney Island elementary school, many of her students went home hungry. To help these children, Ms. Giliof’s school saved cereal boxes and fruits to give to students before the weekends began. Blessings in a Backpack implements this idea on an international scale.

“People don’t realize that there are so many kids in this country who have to worry every single day about how they are going to eat. Even though we were only able to sponsor five out of the millions of kids in the country who are at risk of going hungry, at least those five kids will not have to worry about finding a way to eat,” said junior Michael Orso, president of SADD.

Junior Omar Selim brought this idea from SADD to Human Relations.

“My experience was fun, and inspired,” said Selim. “Participating in this gave back to me as much as we gave to them; our contributions were reciprocated by the way we felt after it was over.”

SADD raised $240 from their fundraising efforts, and Human Relations donated $160. The two clubs raised enough money to feed five children on the weekends for an entire school year. Additionally, a box is in the lobby to collect backpacks to put the food in.