Laughter, smiles and big hugs filled the room on August 2 at the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors (GTAR) Backpack for Kids party where children picked up their backpacks and enjoyed free ice cream, pizza, a photo booth and more.
Since 2006 GTAR has partnered with Family & Children’s Services to link children with the greatest need for back to school backpacks filled with toiletries, shoes, shirts and pants. Each backpack costs around $75. When the program began, 100 children received backpacks. This year, the group put together 516 backpacks for Family & Children’s Services clients.
Backpacks for Kids was born because GTAR wanted to help their community and Shelley Carson, a member of the GTAR Association, had the vision for providing needed items for kids going back to school that wasn’t a handout, but a hand up. It was when she was introduced to Family and Children’s Services Senior Program Director Crystal Houck that the idea took off.
The program is designed to help kids have confidence for school. As a mother of two, Carson knows the importance of walking into the first day of school with new supplies and clothing; unfortunately, many of the children served by this program have never had that experience.
Not only is the project supported by Tulsa area realtors and local businesses, but sponsors are a big part of the party – big thanks goes out to all those who helped make the event possible.
For more information about GTAR’s Backpacks for Kids, click here.
GTAR 2017 Backpack for Kids recap Video: