Backpack Buddies: who’s helping kids in need and how you can help, too


More than 48,000 meals are given to Minot elementary students through the Souris Valley United Way’s Backpack Buddies program.

Students at one of the schools go the extra mile to help out their peers.

Two hundred twenty-five students get assistance from Backpack Buddies, 57 of those kids go to Washington Elementary School, with at least one student in every classroom in need.

Before the weekend, 25 kids in the Character Counts group at Washington volunteer to discreetly get those bags in the cubbies of those kids.

Students are also encouraged to take an ornament from the Giving Tree .. each ornament tells them what sort of food items to bring in to help with Backpack Buddies.

And so far, it’s doing great. For every one of those ‘Spirit Eyes’ on the tree .. the yarn ornaments ..that means a paper ornament has been traded in for food.

“It’s just kind of a good way to help the community of our school and around where we live,” Character Counts student, Levi Vitko, said.

School counselor Jackie Geiger said, “I believe in giving back and I want our kids at our school to develop leadership, I want them to give back and to be able to work with a team of students who want to do the same.”

“I’m very grateful of what I have and I would like kids to be grateful for what we provide for them and how they can use it,” Character Counts student, Alexis Binckley said.

If you don’t have a child enrolled at Washington, you can still help the five other schools that utilize Backpack Buddies.

You can buy a special mug at Scheels, Minot Nutrition Addiction or at the Souris Valley United Way location. 100% of the $20 cost goes to the program.

There’s a list of items and a donation box at the [Solidcore] studio in Minot as well.

The Souris Valley United Way would like to be able to get this program in all the elementary schools. There’s 13 of them, so every bit helps.

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