Indy BackPack Attack raises awareness, collects supplies
The community asked for help, and F.A. Wilhelm responded. With a call to action to help Central Indiana families gather basic supplies to start the 2014 school year, Wilhelm donated an office-full of backpacks, colored pencils and other school supplies to Indy BackPack Attack’s School Supply Drive.
The donation effort was a collaboration of local businesses, organizations and non-profits, whose mission is to collect school supplies to provide children the tools they need to succeed in school. It is reported that 80 percent of Central Indiana families cannot afford basic school supplies their children need. On average, many teachers spend over $500 of their own money to supplement student supplies.
Aside from the financial burden experienced by families and teachers, students with inadequate supplies suffer unnecessary struggle to keep up with peers. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proclaimed June 23, 2014 as Indy BackPack Day to increase public awareness of this need. Wilhelm participated in the drive and received outstanding response from employees.
As of early August 2014, an IndyBack Pack coordinator reported more than 257,000 supplies were collected for this year’s drive. During the course of two weeks, over 400 volunteers across Indianapolis worked to count, sort, and package the school supplies. Indianapolis Public Schools social workers then distribute the supplies to children in need throughout the community.
With the help of community members and local businesses like Wilhelm, Indy BackPack attack has collected over 3.5 million school supplies since 1999. In addition to school supplies, the drive collected basic hygiene products like deodorant and soap for the students.