30,000+ backpacks filled with brand new school supplies are now in the hands of students in Detroit and Flint. We had a blast visiting schools in both cities and meeting with students, parents and teachers to kick off the new school year.
There was a buzz in the hallways of Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit September 5 – and not just because it was the first day of school. Students excitedly entered the auditorium under a balloon arch and took their seats. Looking toward the stage, they could see a huge pile of backpacks waiting to be distributed under a banner that read, “Have a Winning School Year.”
One by one, members of our Mike Morse Law Firm team handed different-colored backpacks to each child (grey, blue and pink were some of this year’s favorites.) It is the best feeling to provide backpacks and school supplies and watch the children’s faces and eyes light up. That’s why backpack day is one of our favorite days of the year.
“Look!” said one child, pulling notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons and more out of her bag to show a friend.
“What do you we say when somebody does something nice for us?” asked Principal Alisanda Woods.
“Thank you!” the students shouted.
It is us who should be thanking them.
Year after year, it’s so rewarding and fulfilling to provide these much-needed school supplies to local children. We were also honored to provide 3,000 teacher totes this year with hand sanitizer, dry erase markers, tissues and other items inside – requested by our hardworking, dedicate teachers. We do not want them to have to pay out of their own pockets for these supplies.
Expanding to Flint
For the first time since our Project Backpack initiative began four years ago, we also headed to Flint where 5,200 backpacks were distributed, one for every student in grades K-12. We got a warm welcome at Freeman Elementary School and I shared the following message with the students.
“I have three children of my own, including a fourth grader. I want to tell you guys a few things I tell my kids: I want you to know that I believe in each and every one of you and you guys can become anything you want. You just have to dream it; don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it. That is really important. And one of the key aspects is doing well in school… You need to be kind to your friends sitting next to you. You need to not let anybody knock you down or hold you back – and if you get knocked down, you get right back up. You have to believe in yourself. Because I know each and every one of you has what it takes to be a winner.”
Special thank you to Principal Anita Steward for having us and Flint’s Superintendent of Schools, Bilal Tawwab, for stopping by to speak with students as well.
Every year, we hear from parents and teachers in many Michigan school districts who are also requesting our help. We know the need is great. We welcome partners to join us as we continue to expand Project Backpack. Our goal is to make sure every Michigan student who needs a backpack and supplies receives them. The Mike Morse Law Firm has donated and helped distribute more than 85,000 backpacks to Michigan students since 2013.