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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Beyond Backpacks

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: Our mission is to provide children of families in need in Yamhill County with a backpack and school supplies. We believe deeply in children starting the school year on a positive note, with a feeling that they belong and can contribute to their classroom. Beyond Backpacks has directly impacted people’s lives with resources and compassion in a fun-filled atmosphere for more than 10 years. Each year, about 900-1000 children from high-need families receive new backpacks full of school supplies. 2000+ people are served, as siblings and parents accompany their children and receive services. Our goal is to help as many children grades K-12 as possible in Yamhill County and to partner with similar efforts in our communities. This year's event will be August 17th at Sue Buel Elementary School. Preregistration is required to attend this event. The mission is as much about creating a positive esteem-building experience as it is about helping kids to be school-ready. Each child picks out a new backpack and “shops” for grade-specific supplies in a fair-like setting. All family members get refreshments, other goods (stuffed animals, winters coats and hats and information about community resources,), enjoy outside play and look at the “big rigs” provided by the fire department, WOW and others.

Results: We have been greatly blessed by so many that have joined to help make the day a wonderful success! Churches, service organizations, businesses, and individuals in McMinnville and Yamhill county host this event through grassroots collaboration. Please consider partnering with us in this wonderful event through one of these opportunities: --DONATE SUPPLIES: a new backpack or two or more! -- Needed school supplies can be donated at our collection sites at local businesses and churches (lists of materials and sites posted on our website and Facebook page) -- CASH DONATIONS: Monetary donations always help us to have adequate grade-specific supplies. Click the link on the Great Non-Profits page to donate online or checks can be mailed to PO Box 335, McMinnville OR 97128. -- VOLUNTEER: supplies collection, set-up, event day activities, and clean-up. To volunteer email us at volunteer@beyondbackpacks.org -- FUND RAISE: Participate in, or sponsor, a fund-raising event. Popular ones have been car washes, ice cream socials and profit sharing with local businesses. -For more information or if you have any questions email us at info@beyondbackpacks.org

Target demographics: The high needs families of children in public schools in grades K-12 in Yamhill County.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We served over 900 children and their families. This year we expect that we will serve over a 1000.

Geographic areas served: Yamhill County

Programs: We sponsor a one day event where the children get to shop for their school supplies for the year allowing them to enter the school year feeling prepared, ready and on an even playing field with their peers.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This Non-profit goes above and beyond for the families of our county. They work all year round with only 8 members to make sure that over 950+ school aged children have the backpacks and school supplies that they need. They do this without the help of major grants but with the support of the community by cash or in kind donations. Their mission is to make each child feel like they can start school exactly like their peers. Their event is not like most backpack events in that they strive to make sure that the kids "shop" for their supplies. They get to pick out whatever backpack they want and each of the supplies is theirs to choose as well. The kids leave feeling like they are just like the other kids that got to go the store and the look of happiness on their face is amazing. They also make sure that the families have resources that could help throughout the school year by having community partners come on the day of and connect with the families. This organization does so much on so little it is amazing. I am proud to have Beyond Backpacks in my community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am GRATEFUL for beyond backpack! I am a single mom and needed the help this year. Thank you!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The mission of this organization provide practical and essential resources for students in need. Those involved work year round to acquire all the essentials at the very lowest prices. This means that every dollar donated goes far beyond what typically would be collected towards filling these backpacks.
Supporting this nonprofit means making a REAL difference in the lives of those with REAL needs, impacting the WHOLE FAMILY to improve educational opportunities. Strong education means a stronger community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This was a group I knew little about until asked to be on their board several years ago. I was blown away by the dedication and year-round busyness of this group. Members are shopping year around for supplies to get the best bargains. Members are contacting and talking with groups in the cities we serve . Businesses are encouraging their employees to help out with our event and are willing to put out donation bins.
Churches do likewise. High school groups cone out to help with set up and No field College RA's serve as our guides-an invaluable service! Each year, the demand has grown for our services, and each year we have met it-sometimes by the skin of our teeth! The gratitude and thanks shown by parents and kids is reward in itself. It's such a pleasure to know that nearly 900 students went off to school this year prepared with all their supplies! What a terrific start for them.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the first year I’ve volunteered for Beyond Backpacks. I was extremely impressed at the efficiency of the whole process, at the large number of volunteers, and at the friendliness and compassion shown to the children and parents. What a wonderful program!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beyond Backpacks provides backpack and school supplies to students in Yamhill County in Oregon. A lot a areas do this but the way they do it is amazing. The kids and their families come. The student pick a backpack and then they get to pick every supply they get. So they go shopping. Kids who are not in school get a stuffed animal. The also give away coats and other items. The end it feels like a carnival with small games, additional items and popcorn. How many families have fun getting their supplies? All of these do.

This group is extremely organized and provide fun atmosphere to serve about 900 kids in a matter of a few hours. It is a blessing to all.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I watch these folks work hard all year, learn and refine their operation, and strive to help as many children in as many ways as they can. No nonprofit I've ever seen does more on less. I support Beyond Backpacks with 100% confidence.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with non-profits for years but this one is truly outstanding in scope and quality. The number of children it helps to receive a confident start with school is truly impressive. A friend visiting from Australia accompanied me this year and she was in utter awe at the entire event. The excellent organization, numbers helped, Linfield student assists were but a few of her comments. Others hearing her reaction have asked if they too can volunteer next year. That is truly the sign of a 5 star organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years, I’ve watched the number of children served grow tremendously. Without this program there would be hundreds of children starting school without the supplies they need. One thing that’s makes this program a little different is the organizers encourage each child to choose their own backpack from a great selection purchased with proceeds from fundraising. The children are then able to visit the displays of supplies and choose from items they need for their age group. This is a fun event with volunteers from across the community. There is even a large contingent of students from the local college who bring an enthusiastic energy that sets a great example for the youngsters picking out supplies to start a new school year. Every child leaves with a backpack, supplies, and a smile!

2 Angela H.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Beyond Backpack has been a huge part of the yamhill county community. I first began as a recipient of this program growing up. My parents needed help with supplies from time for time and beyond backpacks was always there to help. Once i reached the age to volunteer i was more then happy to help out my community. And once i graduated from high school I was given the opportunity to become a board member. I can honestly say that this non profit is an important role in giving the kids in our community a chance to have a successful school year.