This happens to all troop leaders at some point: you're without a service project and you're fresh out of idea. Jen Neve was trying to find a service project for her then Girl Scouts to do during the holiday season. She had the idea to contact a foster care program for children to see if there was anything her girls could do for the children. The program told her the children often arrive with their few belongings in a trash bag and nothing more. They only asked for donations of backpacks.Jen was so overcome by their need she started to organize other troops to participate in the donation. Jen did not know at the time, but she was creating something much bigger than a one time service project: Backpack Buddies.
12 years later Backpack Buddies has continued to grow and is now serving homeless children and families in the Austin and Round Rock area. Jen gets names, ages and gender of the children from the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) in order to guarantee every child gets a new backpack. Jen asks that individuals/troops fill backpacks with age appropriate goodies for the children and that they do not spend more than $50 on the backpack.
Toward the end of October Jen will start to match up the troops with the children and will send out the child’s “About Me” information. The backpacks will need to be returned to her before December 8 so you have a whole month to get cracking! If you are interested in participating or want more information on how you can help contact Jen Neve at Jen_Neve@sbcglobal.net .