Friday, November 17, 2006

Give a Kid a Backpack

Giggles (Photo by Ashley Franscell)

My photojournalist daughter Ashley Franscell just returned from Ecuador, where she was shooting for a charity that supplies needy children with backpacks and school items that will help their education. She came home with some outstanding photos (many of which are displayed at her blog, Depth of Field.)

But she came home with more. This was her second trip with Give a Kid a Backpack, which traveled earlier this year to El Salvador, too. Her world view has expanded exponentially, along with her compassion and urge to make a difference. On her Ecuadorian sojourn, she bought 30 disposable cameras to distribute among the children and will soon develop their photographs for a gallery show later this year. Any money raised by selling the photos will support the charity.

Here's Ashley's summary: "Give a Kid a Backpack Foundation Inc. collects backpacks, fills them with school supplies, everyday useful items and hand delivers them directly to poor school aged children. So far we have given over 2,100 backpacks to children in Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Afghanistan and Nicaragua but plan to expand our reach all over the world.

"The foundation has rapidly grown over the past year from a small effort to a full fledged 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 100% of all donations go to benefit these children.

"One particular target of our efforts is to deliver backpacks to poor rural school age children living in poverty. Children in these countries don’t have the same opportunity as the children in the U.S. Even though these children theoretically have access to public schools, they can’t always go. They are required to pay a registration and supply their own uniforms and school supplies to attend these schools. Many children can’t afford this and as a result, never receive an education. Our current goal is to hand deliver over 2,300 backpacks by the end of 2006."

If you want to help this unique organization, please go here.


Jspiker said...

What a Great Idea and a wonderful mission. Thanks for putting forth the effort to make a difference in the lives of others!

Chancelucky said...

What a great picture and what a great idea!

SingingSkies said...

Ashley took some awesome pictures! The joy on those kids' faces is priceless - and so is the experience Ashley's gained. There's something truly incredible about helping others, especially in places like Ecuador and El Salvador. Hooray to Ashley for her part in making the lives of others better and building such posibie relationships!

Kudos to all involved!