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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Back at You

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Gift Distribution, Human Services

Mission: BACK@YOU works to help the homeless survive life on the streets. We give them each a backpack filled with essential supplies and a handmade scarf as a sign to the recipient that these are gifts of kindness, comfort, and respect. The homeless are not invisible to us, they matter to us, and we care about them. We see the homeless, and we’ve got their backs.

Target demographics: our homeless neighbors

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 225 of our homeless neighbors and several local homeless services providers.

Geographic areas served: St. Louis

Programs: custom-made backpacks, essential supplies, and comfort items

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We received backpacks for the first time in the fall of 2016. They have been invaluable for our homeless youth, as often they find themselves homeless with nothing but the clothes on their back. The contents are well thought out and the backpacks are durable and large. Our youth are excited about the contents and space the backpack provides. We are looking forward to working with the organization in the future.

ddmcmillen84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is amazing what one person can accomplish.

From using spare change saved throughout the year to buy socks and gloves for our homeless neighbors, to distributing 20 backpacks, then 200 backpacks in 2015 and in 2016, 400 backpacks were distributed!

And these are not just ordinary backpacks……..the backpacks were specially designed by CityPak for those who live on the streets and then Back@You fills them to the brim with many essentials, including a handmade scarf.

Back@You is a young non-profit organization and I have been there since the beginning. I have helped fill and distribute the backpacks and always leave with more than I gave.

~Debra McMillen

Comments ( 1 )

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Kathy222 02/02/2017

You have been part of BACK@YOU since before we even had a name! So grateful for your support, love, and generosity!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is amazing what one caring person can do. Kathy Acre and BackatYou have a passion to help the homeless and it is contagious. She tunneled that passion and put together 200 backpacks filled with essentials for the homeless. My family and I were fortunate enough to be there to help hand them out this past Saturday. She introduced herself to every backpack recipient and then one by one each volunteer became a buddy and helped pick out their backpack which included a handmade scarf. Check out BackatYou and consider helping out our homeless friends. You won’t be disappointed.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been crocheting scarves for Back@You for over a year now...it has been incredibly rewarding to be a part of an organization that has taken a "boots on the ground" approach to homelessness in St. Louis.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kathy222 02/02/2017

Thank you for your kind words and your support! It is amazing what a scarf made with love can do to show someone they matter, and someone cares. Thank you for being one of those people who makes that happen!

Donor

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. I have never met a more passionate advocate for the homeless than Back@you's founder Kathy

Donor

Rating: 5

I am honored to know Kathy Acre, the founder of Back@You. Her devotion to helping the homeless folks in St Louis is amazing.
Thank you Kathy. For your selfless love

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I contacted Kathy after reading about Back@YOU in the paper. I am a librarian from the St Louis County Lindsey and host 2 groups that knit and crochet once a month. We are working at making 400 scarves for this group and the backpacks they provide for the homeless of St Louis. Our ladies have made over 200 scarves and hope to meet our goal to help this group of individuals in need. Thanks to Kathy and all those who help!

Donna Davis
Circulation Assistant, SLCL

Donor

Rating: 5

I admit to knowing the founder of this nonprofit well. She is an amazing force of nature and I hold her and her goals for Back@You in the highest regard. Plus my mom's knitting habit is helping a great cause!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Well, Kathy Acre is the Change!!! She is changing lives in St. Louis one backpack at a time! It has been an incredible experience to witness her passion and dedication first-hand as she works to assist the homeless. She doesn't have homes to give away to them but she has one huge heart with a lot of warm, loving, and caring space, along with an army of helpers who are determined to spread her mission. I am very happy I came across her organization while searching on-line and now I feel blessed to be a supporter and volunteer. She makes the street a warmer place to spend the night for those who all they have is a backpack filled with essentials and Kathy's love! Kathy has started something amazing! Supporting Back@You and helping it grow will allow her to continue changing lives for the better!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing story of one woman's effort to help the homeless. A year ago, Kathy Acre set out to help 20 homeless neighbors in Saint Louis by providing essentials for living life on the streets. She began by asking one homeless man what his greatest daily needs were. From that conversation, Back@You has grown into an organization that has impacted the lives of more than 200 homeless folks this year. Kathy's passion and vision has inspired many of us. People from across the country have taken part in this effort by supplying handmade scarves and hats, as well as socks, hoodies, non-perishable snack foods, and personal care items. She has brought together people from all over the Saint Louis metro area to share in this opportunity to serve the homeless in our area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Back@You in Summer, 2015. Kathy has taken her passion and her compassion, showing us what determination can accomplish. She shows honor and dignity to the less fortunate and reminds us not to judge others. She is seeking to impact lives with a practical approach while ensuring those on the street feel they have support and care. To increase her impact tenfold in one year is unheard of but it shows what Kathy has been able to do by being consistent in her efforts.

Judy148

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've recently had the chance to meet Kathy Acre and learn about her non-profit, BACK@YOU. Within the course of a year , Kathy has gained great momentum. Starting out by filling and handing out just 20 backpacks she purchased inexpensively, to handing out over 200, "specially designed backpacks", this year. She CAREFULLY fills these packs with essentials for life on the streets. That obviously didn't feel like enough, so Kathy makes sure that each pack is given out by a volunteer and comes with a handmade scarf to show these folks that they matter. Kathy Acre's desire to help the homeless in this small, but very important way is contagious! I HiGHLY recommend getting involved with this effort.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Because of one woman's passion and caring concern for the homeless and the volunteers that have been inspired by her passion there are many homeless people on the streets of St. Louis who have new backpacks filled with items that make their life's somewhat easier. Thank you Kathy.

Donor

Rating: 5

Kathy is such an inspiration in her passion for helping the homeless. Her drive to help those in need is amazing. She lights up when she talks about her charity work. I'm sure she will continue with much success in her journey to make a difference in many lives. Kathy, you are blessing to this community. Keep up the good work!

1 Colleen59

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a blessing it was to work with Kathy and the gang of Back At You this year. Friends and I helped make some of the 200 hand crocheted or knitted scarves that were given out with the backpacks. Just seeing the smiles on the faces of homeless recipients will make me smile until next year when we do it all again! What a wonderful charity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kathy is an amazing organizer and philanthropist. Her kindness and devotion to making a difference in the lives of the homeless is inspiring and I am proud to know her and support her good works through Back@You.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having known about Back At You for only a short time, I decided to check them out. What I found was not what I expected. Not a big organization, but a small non-profit run basically by Kathy Acre and her husband Kevin. Last year they were able to put together and distribute about twenty backpacks to help people living on the streets of St. Louis. This year I decided to get involved. Not having much money I contributed some socks and helped out carrying items to the truck and stuffing backpacks. That day I realized that a little bit of money or labor when added to the efforts of others can truly make a difference. On October 10th over 200 backpacks were distributed to people in need, young and old alike. I was one of about fifty volunteers that unloaded the truck and help guide the recipients through the process of selecting their packs and selecting sweatshirts in their size & color. Each pack was topped off with a hand knit muffler (made by folks here and in other states) so the person could find a pack that called out to them. It was a really amazing day! I was truly moved and glad I attended. Through the tireless efforts of Kevin and Kathy I saw what is possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never met Kathy personally, but I feel like I have known her for years! I have spent the past year "behind the scenes" helping her with donations and getting Girl Scouts and our grade schools to help in donations. You couldn't ask for a more trustworthy, hard working individual to help the homeless! I am so proud of what she has accomplished in the past year. I am more than happy to help her meet her goal of 400 backpacks next year. She puts the homeless 1st in her life. St. Louis is very fortunate to have someone so dedicated for such a worthy cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Back@You is a great organization! Kathy has personally developed relationships with the homeless in St. Louis to ensure that the funds are used in the most useful ways. The impact that this organization has had is immeasurable. The gratitude of the recipients of her backpacks was evident In their smiles, tears and hugs. Children and adults both benefit from Back@You.