Many Blessings in a Small Community

Penquis Valley High SchoolThe forty JMG Students at Penquis Valley High School provided their grant funding to a very below-the-radar program intended to alleviate hunger among local elementary students. “Blessings in a Backpack” was founded by a local social worker and an elementary school teacher who quietly pack the backpacks of children in need with food for the weekend and for school vacations. Because all children carry backpacks to school, nobody knows who is benefitting, yet the program makes a big difference to the children whose packs are filled. The JMG students were introduced to the program when they helped to pack the bags.

“We don’t have too many really local community nonprofits that serve youth and families, and ‘Blessings’ is a true homegrown effort that very directly meets needs we know are there,” said Carl Wilson, JMG Specialist.

“Our students have a direct connection to the end result and it makes a big difference to our learning about philanthropy. We’re hoping that other local communities pick up on the idea.”