St. Paul Parish - National Catholic Church in Belleview, FL

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Clean Kids Backpack Program

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to find out more about our program.

We currently provide personal care / hygiene products for over 14,000 registered homeless school children, from grades K - 12 in Marion, Lake, Sumter, and Orange Counties. There are numerous fantastic “backpack” programs already out there helping with food, clothing, and school supplies, but there has always been a severe shortage of personal care items. This is our cause: to help keep children in school, healthy and clean, improving their self-esteem and their ability to meet their education potential.

We network with many organizations and clubs, collecting supplies here at St. Paul's and distributing to the districts' homeless departments, working with their respective liasons. Items are further distributed to the students in assigned backpacks to take with them each weekend. The backpacks are brought back to school on Monday and the process continues.

We humbly request both items and monetary donations. Please be assured we use all our appropriations to benefit the homeless children, both directly and through the expansion of the program. For every dollar we invest into awareness and drives, we obtain four dollars worth of the product back. And we are happy to receive any new, unopened item. Items deemed inappropriate for children are given to a local homeless veteran's program.

People often ask, “Is there one item needed above all the rest?” The answer is, “Yes, and that item is deodorant.” If we only focused on deodorant, we would still never receive enough to cover the kids in need in an ongoing basis. Feel free to drop off as many as you can on my porch at any time.

It is important to note that Florida hosts 30,000 registered homeless school children (not to mention the thousands that have fallen off the grid) and we are hoping to expand our efforts throughout the state in the upcoming years. With support from fantastic people like you, we can achieve this. Thank you for your considerations and God bless you! Call me or email me anytime!

For the kids, I remain,

Rev. Fr. Mark J. Niznik, Chariman, 352-245-2061
Susan Hilt, Assistant to the Chairman, 352-307-2129

CKBP is a 501 (C) (3) Charitable Organization under St. Paul Parish of Belleview, FL of the Polish National Catholic Church.