Backpacks of Hope

Backpacks of Hope began in March of 2014. This program was started in order to help the families of students attending New Horizons Academy at Sara’s Garden.  All of the students who attend New Horizons Academy have a special learning need. A majority of our students have varying degrees of Autism and the others have more of a physical disability, such as Cerebral Palsy or Traumatic Brain Injury.

If you know anyone with a child with special needs, you understand that they are often short on money partly due to the many appointments with Doctors and other specialists.  The purpose of Backpacks of Hope is to help the families of students who attend New Horizons Academy by giving them food for 1 meal per week.  Families are given the opportunity every week to fill out a slip to indicate they need help with food for that week. Between August 2015 and May 2016, Backpacks of Hope distributed over 200 backpacks of food to 20 different families.

In May of 2015, we began to realize that these families were also struggling to buy school supplies. In August of 2015, Backpacks of Hope added school supplies to the donation list and began distributing these items to children in need.

Backpacks of Hope has been blessed by numerous families in the community who have donated non-perishable foods and school supplies over the past few years. On the back side of this letter is a list of non-perishable food items and school supplies that we could use for our children and their families at New Horizons Academy at Sara’s Garden. We are asking you to prayerfully consider helping by donating items from this list. If you feel God nudging you to help, there is a box under the mail boxes in the lobby for donations or donated items can be dropped off at Sara’s Garden

If you have never heard of Sara’s Garden or New Horizons Academy, we would be happy to speak with you about the many services we offer.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give!

Valerie Nafziger
Backpacks of Hope coordinator
Client Services Director at Sara’s Garden

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me,’  Matthew 25:44-45 NIV

School Supplies
  • #2 pencils (Ticonderoga brand)
  • Big size pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencil Cap Erasers
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Kleenex
  • All sizes of zip-lock baggies
  • Glue Sticks
  • Bottles of Glue (Elmer’s)
  • Crayons
  • Rulers
  • 2” – three ring binders
  • 1 ½” – three ring binders
  • Pencil bags for three ring binders
  • Tabbed subject dividers for three ring binders
  • 3×5 ruled index cards
  • 3×5 un-ruled index cards
  • White out tapes (not liquid)
  • Large metal index card rings
  • Large pink or white erasers
  • Pencil Box
  • Zippered Trapper Keepers
  • Pocket folders with prongs
  • Composition Notebooks
  • Earbuds or Headphones
  • Construction Paper
  • Colored Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Rolls of Paper Towel
  • Boy and Girl Backpacks
Non-Perishable Food Items
  • **Canned Fruit
  • **Canned Vegetables
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Spaghettios
  • Pancake mix (just add water)
  • Canned Tuna
  • Tuna Helper
  • Pudding Cups
  • Jello Cups
  • Ramen Noodles
  • **Canned Beef
  • **Canned Chicken
  • **Spaghetti
  • **Spaghetti Sauce
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Rice Sides packets
  • Pasta Sides packets
  • Baked Beans
  • Crackers
  • Noodles and Pasta
  • Banquet Homestyle Bakes (complete meal kit)
  • Betty Crocker Helper Complete Meals
  • Any other non-perishable food items

**Backpacks of Hope has the greatest need for these items.

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