"Changing Lives One Backpack at a Time"
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Established in 2016, Backpack International's founder, Oslyn Rodriguez visited her native country Guyana, South America after 14 years, to celebrate her grandfather's 85th birthday.
Her family held an outdoor gathering and invited children from the local village to share in the festivities. About 50 children arrived. As everyone sang songs and enjoyed food and drinks, Oslyn began to look around the village. She didn't see a playground or park. There was no community center or library. Many children were barefooted, and it was not by choice. Others wore tattered clothing. Later that day, Oslyn jotted down a few ideas about what she could do help these children.
In the Summer of 2016, BPI hosted the first mission trip to Guyana. It was a small but mighty team of four volunteers.
Partnering with two local churches, they were able to serve 102 children. They held a 3-day Vacation Bible School (VBS), distributed daily meals, and presented the children with certificates and backpacks filled with school supplies, hygiene items, toys, and more.
Every July since then, Backpack International has traveled to Guyana to host their annual "Christmas in July" VBS.
To date, Backpack International has given away over 1000 backpacks to children, youth, and adults in need.
In June 2019, Backpack International expanded to include Sylacauga, Alabama as another service area. They hosted Vacation Bible School, provided evening meals to children and families in the community, and presented participants with bags filled with school supplies, hygiene products, toys, and more. Through their partnership with Campus Kitchens of Auburn University, Backpack International is also able to provide hot meals to the hungry in Sylacauga, Alabama and in September 2020, they began providing meals to families in Lee County, AL.
Although BPI was unable to host their annual summer mission trip to Guyana in 2020 due COVID-19, they still continued to serve their local community and beyond. Since the pandemic, BPI has provided relief backpacks, food, clothing, and shoes to children and families in Alabama, Belize City, & Guyana, South America. This year, BPI has distributed over 600 backpacks and served over 600 meals to the hungry.
Reach out to BPI today to find out how you can get involved.
Backpack International, Inc. is a U.S. based,
501(c)(3)non-profit organization with a mission to share the love of Christ Jesus with children in need around the world, by ministering to their spiritual, physical, social, and academic needs.