Supplies Drive Reflection – Backpack Beginnings

Albert Einstein once said, “Give back to the world at least what you have received.”  I have always wanted to give back by hosting a community drive for a long time, but I had no idea how. The Empower And Help ambassador program gave me a chance to learn how to organize my community drive and host it. In this article, I share my experience of doing a community drive with you.

Many of us have the supplies that we need for school. This could be pencils, notebooks, or even blankets. But unlike us, some students in Guilford county don’t have these. So to help them out, I hosted this community drive for the organization called Backpack Beginning. Backpack Beginning is a nonprofit organization that helps these children access food, clothes, and comfort items. In this article, I’ll be talking about my experience on this community drive and how you can do one too!

The first step I took in my community drive was to pick an organization. For me, I did an essay in fifth grade on backpack beginning, so I knew what the organization was and wanted to do a community drive on that. If you are unsure which organization to pick, first determine a cause you are passionate about and then search up organizations online that support that cause. Once you have selected the organization, there is a research process to find what they need, where to drop the donations, and when their donation boxes are open. To get this information, you can call the organizations or look at their website.

The second step was to make a flyer. I used Canva, a graphic design platform, to design a flyer. In my flyer, I made sure to include the items that were needed, a short description of the cause, time, date, and address the drive is at. The next step is to share the flyer. I shared mine on our community Facebook page, group chats,  and to some people, we knew.

After this, it is crucial to finalize the logistics of where will people put their donations? This can be any box (I recommend it a little big). You can even be creative and decorate your box with a face, flowers, something related to your community drive, etc.

Last but not least, you collect and donate. After people dropped off their donations,  I also sent a thank you note showing my appreciation.

Overall hosting this event was an excellent experience for me.  I learned how to help and serve our community. The hardest part of the drive was being patient. Since my community drive lasted a week and we only had one donation for about half of it, I was a little demotivated. But I found out that even if it’s only a little, it can still make a big difference in someone’s life. I also found that I had to be more patient since most of my donations came in near the end of the drive. My favorite part was probably making the box and the flyer/note.

In summary, below are the tips to keep in mind when you do your community drive:

  1. Be patient
  2. Make an attractive flyer
  3. Try different ways to advertise it
  4. Have an open mindset it is okay if you don’t collect that much
  5. Have Fun!

[By Srideekshitha Sureshkumar, is Empower And Help Student Ambassador 2021 from North Carolina]

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