The Blue Ribbon Project's Backpacks of Love program provides backpacks directly to children going into care. Each backpack is gender and age-appropriate. Each backpack is designed specifically for a child of a particular age. Below, you will find a list of each age and gender and what is included in a backpack for that child.
If you or your organization are building backpacks to donate, we have a huge favor to ask of you. Please print the page for the age and gender in which the backpack is being built. Then use that page to check off items you are placing within the backpack. Our volunteers will add items from the list that are not checked off. Lastly, leave that printed page inside of the backpack. This way we can easily inventory and label the backpack for the age you intended.
A few tips:
- Each backpack is designed for each age and gender. Every little contribution helps these kids. If you want to fill an entire backpack for an age, that is great. If you just want to donate a tube of toothpaste, that too is wonderful. Do not feel obligated to purchase everything on this list. Single items are also placed in the packs.
- Children's development can be different, especially when it comes to abuse or neglected children. For instance, a child may be using a pacifier much later than your child did.
- Kids come in all shapes and sizes and this makes purchasing clothing very difficult. Each child will need a change of clothes (actually two of them) so if you include clothing, try to include something that is stretchy or adjustable.
- Remember, these packs are designed for those first 24 to 48 hours. Many travel-sized items will work. Children will obviously use some of these things past that time frame and you can purchase either travel size or full size.
- If you are packing your own backpack, you do not have to include everything on this list. It is important to get these items to children, however, we do not want you to break the budget doing so. This is why we ask that you print and include the checklist so our staff knows what needs to be added to your backpack.