By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Department of Human Services is teaming with a few businesses to help get foster children the supplies they need to start the school year. This year, the Backpack Challenge has also expanded to other cities.
The goal is to fill more than 5,000 backpacks with supplies. DHS Commissioner Vanessa Garrett Harley also wants to raise $25,000 which would help buy laptops for college bound teens. She says it’s easy for anyone to help out.
“Five Below is one of our big sponsors and they sell the bookbags with supplies already in them. However, you can also buy a bookbag of your own and you can fill it with supplies that you want in, or you can donate money.”
One of the beneficiaries of the program is Jennifer Hill, who is in her last year at the Community College of Philadelphia.
“Just to be able to utilize these resources and have them available to me was such a big help because I really didn’t know what I was going to do.”
The backpack challenge was born in Philadelphia and has now expanded to other cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore and Cleveland. CBS Radio is one of the program sponsors.