Back to School! Three words that most children dread as they see their summer coming to end and face the reality of homework. However, the trip to the store to get a new backpack, pencils and crayons is an event that helps ease the back to school dread.


The reality for many kids heading back to school is that they will not have the resources to shop for the needed school supplies.

The Kids In Need Foundation’s mission is “to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.”


Change for Children funds have been used this year to help in this effort. By partnering with the Kids In Need Foundation, CFC was able to host five backpack building volunteer events in three different regions: San Diego, Orange County, and Denver.


Each event had supplies laid out on tables, and our Panera volunteers went down the line with a brand new backpack filling it with paper, pencils, crayons, folders, markers, eraser, pens, and more!

The last items to go into the backpacks were handwritten notes that each volunteer wrote. They had encouraging words and affirmations for the students to read when they received their new backpack.

Overall, there were a total of 69 volunteers that gave 110 hours of time to help provide over 1,300 filled backpacks to children in order to help start their school year off right! Be on the look out for volunteer opportunities with the Kids In Need Foundation and Change for Chidlren in your area in the future.

Mary Thompson