NEWS | March 1, 2011

Give a Kid a Backpack teams with JTF-B, gives away 700 backpacks

By Staff Sgt. Kimberly Rae Moore Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

 More than 700 children in the surrounding Honduran communities received backpacks filled with school supplies Feb. 23 and 24, thanks to a partnership between Joint Task Force-Bravo and the Give a Kid a Backpack organization.

"Give a Kid a Backpack is nonprofit organization that works toward enriching the lives of impoverished children around the world through gifts of backpacks filled with school supplies," said Rosanna Kingston, Give a Kid a Backpack founder and president.

In order to find those children in need, Give a Kid a Backpack team works with JTF-Bravo.

"Our office works with a local non-governmental organization to locate children to receive the donations," said Maj. Jorge Cintron, Civil and Military Operations director. "Because of our team effort, the Give a Kid a Backpack team was able to locate and visit ten hard-to-reach areas of Honduras and provide those children in need with the Give a Kid a Backpack donations."

Each backpack is filled with school supplies and cost us an average of 20 dollars. The backpacks contain erasers, pencils, pens, notebooks, folders, scissors, rulers, a sharpener, a geometric set, color pencils, crayons and a pencil pouch.

"Give a Kid a Backpack is one way to make a difference in a young person's education," Mrs. Kingston said. "Since our inception, we have given more than 72,000 backpacks. These backpacks are a symbol of hope and encouragement for children to continue going to school."

Mrs. Kingston said no one in the organization draws a salary and we have no office overhead. Volunteers who go on distribution trips pay their own way.

"We receive our financial support from individuals, followed by corporation and other non-profit organizations," she said. "We receive contributions through word-of-mouth, our website and Facebook. Word spreads and that's how we grow."

JTF-Bravo contributes to regional stability and peace, which facilitates economic prosperity and growth. Our daily operations demonstrate the professionalism and training of the men and women of the JTF-Bravo and the United States military and our commitment to the region.

"This project is an example of how JTF-Bravo can partner with a non-governmental organization to provide assistance in the community," Major Cintron said.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.giveakidabackpack.org/