Every year, as we enter the holiday season, I always like to take time, reflect, and be thankful for the blessings I have received. I wish everyone lived as if the entire year was one big holiday of giving thanks!
Well, I know one organization that stays in the holiday and giving spirit year-round. Meet Sandra Greene Smith, founder of Brittany’s Backpack Ministry. Brittany’s Backpack Ministry is a nonprofit organization that is all about supporting children, families and organizations by providing a variety of resources. I asked Sandra to highlight the awesome work that she is doing in our community.
Larry: How does Brittany’s Backpack Ministry serve the community?
Sandra: BBM offers backpacks, supplies, resources, clothing, and food to those in need. We offer referral services for resources provided by our community partners. Our event count is typically twice a month, but resources are provided whenever needed. Events have included but are not limited to children’s camps, sports events, education, food, clothing and related give-a-ways, group home visitations and parties for the residents, clothing for women and men who are transitioning from homelessness, and our annual Bears from Brittany giving event with Cook Children’s Hospital.
Larry: Why did you start Brittany’s Backpack Ministry?
Sandra: I started Brittany’s Backpack Ministry in 2009 in honor of my youngest daughter after losing her some years ago to acute asthma and heart disease.
Larry: What makes you most excited about your outreach with Brittany’s Back Ministry?
Sandra: I am most excited about the trajectory that our ministry is taking. My daughter Tiffany and I co-chair the Foundation. We have been able to impact so many lives through our events, outreach, public and private giving and the resources and educational impact we have had on others. I am always pleased when we receive referrals and donations from unlikely sources.
Larry: Does Brittany’s Backpack Ministry work with any other organizations for community outreach?
Sandra: Yes, we work with other non-profit organizations, the Arlington Police Department, churches, schools, and various community organizations.
Larry: How important are Brittany’s Backpack volunteers to your outreach?
Sandra: Our volunteers are a crucial part of the operation of our events, prayer partners, and the references for others in need of services.
Larry: What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for Brittany’s Backpack Ministry?
Sandra: Our short-terms goals are to finish out the year strong and complete our upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, a community school supply event, and our Bears from Brittany partnership with Cook’s Children’s Hospital. Long-term goals include obtaining a small bus to outfit and fill with resources to take to events and use in the community, a voucher-based Resale Shop for those in need, office space, tutoring services, grief recovery resources, and access to more funds to make a greater community impact.
Larry: If someone wanted to contribute and support your mission, how can they reach you?
Sandra: There are many ways to support Brittany’s Backpack Ministry! (see below)