Hundreds of students went home with a smile on their face, a trendy backpack and a memory they won’t forget. Blessings in a Backpack Southwest Florida and Vera Bradley surprised Tice Elementary School students on Monday. Aug. 27 with a carnival featuring games, bounce houses, popcorn and more.
Emmy-nominated “Dancing with the Stars” choreographer Witney Carson attended the event and helped distribute more than 600 Vera Bradley backpacks. The national luggage and handbag design company has partnered with Blessings in a Backpack to donate 25,000 backpacks to children in selected schools across the country. The students can use their backpacks to carry the food they receive from Blessings in a Backpack for the weekends throughout the school year.
“This is overwhelming and synergy and a big blessing all wrapped up into one,” said Cecilia St. Arnold, executive director of Blessings in a Backpack SWFL. “And this is a great way to kick off the 10th birthday of Blessings in a Backpack.”
Blessings in a Backpack is a nonprofit organization that provides food for elementary school children across the country who might otherwise go hungry. The food covers meals over the weekend for those who receive free and reduced-price lunches on schooldays. Every student at Tice Elementary currently qualifies for the Blessings in a Backpack program.
“We sometimes worry that kids might not have what they need for school, like pencils and books, but we don’t always think of whether they are physically and mentally ready to focus,” Tice Elementary School Principal Ronda Amaya said. “Imagine being a hungry student and then trying to concentrate on learning. It doesn’t work very well.”