The Backpack Challenge raises funds and collects essential back to school items for foster care youth. From its humble beginnings, the Backpack Challenge has grown from a small collection drive to a national program due to the strong partnership between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Five Below, iHeartRadio, and Valley Youth House. The 2016 collection drive ran from July 19th through August 30th; 2017 dates will be announced in the spring.
This cause marketing collaboration provides direct benefits for all partners involved: government & nonprofit partners receive backpacks and monetary support, the retail partner drives in-store traffic and increases sales, and the media partner is able to build publicity of a philanthropic endeavor into their media sales package.
Most importantly, young people in foster care are given the tools needed to pursue and achieve their educational goals through the support of their own communities. From 2013 to 2015 in Philadelphia, the number of collection site partners more than doubled and over $100,000 was raised.
In 2015, we welcomed new partners in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit and raised over 10,000 backpacks in all five markets! In 2016, we welcomed Houston, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham and Washington, DC. 28,256 backpacks were collected across all markets thanks to the help of Five Below!
Thank you to our amazing sponsors: NORR, Trinseo, Northeast Treatment Centers and Royal Bank!