Heart to Heart adopted the "Tools for School" initiative in 2006. In the first two years under our wings, roughly 8,000 disadvantaged children per year received a new backpack filled with essential, age-appropriate school supplies.
Then, in 2008, we were able to reach out to 12,000 kids in the Kansas City area and beyond.
During each of those three years, volunteers gathered in one of the underground warehouses operated by Meritex Logistics off 95th Street & Renner in Lenexa, KS. Over the span of two weeks, hundreds of volunteers would filter in and out of the warehouse location to help us fill the backpacks. If you were there to see it, you'd say it was pretty amazing -- even inspirational -- to see people of all ages coming to give kids a boost before the start of the upcoming school year.
This year, we moved the initiative to our Global Distribution Center in Kansas City. We also simplified the process. A lot. Instead of learning a whole system for filling the backpacks, we introduced pre-packaged school supplies, which were quickly inserted into new backpacks and packed in boxes.
The result: Nearly 10,000 backpacks were filled in less than five days! (For the non-math students in the audience, that's basically half the time it used to take to fill the backpacks.)
Thanks to all those who volunteered for this effort (even those who signed up for the second week)! You changed the course a student's life!
Stay tuned for video footage from the effort.