About All Kids Win

All Kids Win formerly Homeless Backpacks began with group of girlfriends, moms and a grandmother who sat around the dinner table one night and started talking about the most effective way to help homeless people.

The conversation expanded beyond “just talk” and each party-goer decided to bring one survival item to their next gathering, to fill 20 backpacks.  They loaded the backpacks and set out a few days before Thanksgiving in 2004 with the Lacey police department to deliver the backpacks to the area’s homeless men and women.

The Olympian picked up the story and ran a front page picture of a volunteer distributing a pack to a homeless man.  Homeless Backpacks Chair, Kelly Wilson had innocently given the reporter her home phone number so he could contact her with further questions . . . so the bottom of the article appeared her  phone number. The community began calling asking how they could help. People didn’t know they weren’t a formal organization.

Over the course of the next few months, the group organized, learned more about homelessness from community experts, and opted to focus on homeless teens. Kids get fed breakfast and lunch at school, but there are very limited options over the weekend.  The group spent some time with Robert Coit at Thurston County Food Bank to design a program to provide food on the weekend for homeless middle school and high school teens.

And, the All Kids Win formerly Homeless Backpacks program was formed.

The program started small, with 5 kids in Tumwater. School counselors talked to other counselors and we are now serving between 600+ students per week across Thurston County.

All Kids Win! 

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