Schoolbags for Kids: A lesson in giving

When I was young, I loved going shopping for new school supplies. Even if I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy at the thought of summer vacation ending, there was something about those brand-new backpacks, folders, pencils, and copybooks that always made me happy.    At that point in my life, it never occurred to me that there were children in the world who could not afford to have that experience.  It never really entered my mind that there were many children out there who would have to start school with no supplies at all.

Thanks to the great new site Schoolbags for Kids, though, that’s about to change.

Schoolbags for Kids is the brainchild of two friends Luis Garcia and Kalon Gutierrez, both of whom I know in a one-degree-of-separation kind of way.   The concept is simple: for each schoolbag you buy, a schoolbag full of supplies is sent to a child in Belize, Thailand, or India.  The bags themselves are great — lots of pockets and places to keep anything a kid might need, and they come in all kinds of fun colors.   (The bags that go to the kids overseas are all yellow, for safety reasons — lots of those kids have to walk along busy roads to get to school, and yellow is an international symbol for caution.)   The website and online store has all kinds of great information, including the backstory of how Garcia’s travels overseas got him inspired to help these kids.  The site is also very kid-friendly, with pictures of and fun facts about the places that the backpacks will go.  (It’s a great way to work in a little geography lesson while you’re at it.)

Even though I don’t normally plug things on this website, I had to make an exception here because I absolutely love the simplicity and impact of this idea.  (Plus the bags are so darn cute!).   If you’re starting to shop for your child’s school supplies, buzz on over and take a look.  It’s a terrific way to start the school year with a lesson in giving.

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