March 15, 2015
Upon learning of the need, Sandie Nagel packed and delivered 18 backpacks to Tench Tilghman School in Baltimore City, each with enough to feed a family of four up to six meals over the weekend. From there, Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids (WBHK) was born.
March 20, 2015
A pledge of $100 was made, and we were asked for our IRS 501(c)(3) number. Miriam Lodge agreed to have WBHK under its umbrella. From there, we started raising funds.
Operations moved into The Chimes Vocational Training Center on Liberty Road. The clients of The Chimes assisted in packing and handling the bags.
Two new schools were added, and 56 bags were being distributed each week.
Two more new schools were added, and 108 bags were distributed to five Baltimore City Schools. Schools continued to be added as funds became available. 100% of the money went to feeding the kids.
A Board of Directors was organized, and the packing location moved to a larger Chimes facility in Mt. Washington to accommodate the more than 200 bags being distributed.
We had our first big fundraiser, which netted $55,000.
With the blessing and support of Miriam Lodge, we pursued our own 501(c)(3) status.
WBHK moved operations to 3,600 square feet of donated space in Pikesville. Our volunteer base continued to increase.
We completed the school year, delivering 506 bags of food to 20 Baltimore City Schools EACH WEEK with a volunteer base of over 200 packers and 28 drivers.
300+ volunteers helped pack more than 625 bags of food weekly for 28 schools, providing over 13,000 meals weekly.
As the COVID-19 crisis shut down schools, Weekend Backpacks, along with many other organizations, stepped up to provide as much help as possible to school-aged children in the Baltimore City community. Weekly bag distribution increased to 800+ in March and personal hygiene items were added.
As schools stayed shut down and the need continued to grow amid the pandemic, WBHK reorganized to pack while social distancing and delivered a record 1,047 bags of food in one week.
Due to COVID-19 and the continued demand, we packed and delivered over 1,100 bags weekly throughout the summer.