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    College Planning Blog

    1,001 Backpacks for Haiti

    by Dan Farnesi on July 14, 2017 in PFA News

    Three Haitian schoolgirls.

    In March of 2017, my wife, Janet, and I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti on a mission trip to learn about the people of Haiti and how we may help them overcome extreme poverty. Wow! What an experience. We learned a number of great things, including Haitians are resilient; the opposite of poverty is not wealth—the opposite of poverty is enough; Haitians are happy despite their living conditions; and Haitians teach us how to be truly thankful.


    Notably, we learned that for those fortunate enough to go to school, many do not have backpacks. This may seem like a minor point, but due to the extreme heat, dust, and rain, coupled with long walks to school, books and notebooks often get ruined quickly. One of our guides, Denis Atis, shared how much it breaks his heart to see kids walking without a backpack to carry their school books and supplies. He told us of a project he started to collect more than 1,000 backpacks to help the children of Haiti. We were quite impressed with this goal and knew we could help.


    The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is enough.


    Now, Partners For Achievement is reaching out to students from the high schools in our program to help collect backpacks and school supplies. So, I created the 1,001 Backpacks For Haiti program here at PFA. We are giving our PFA students a chance to help others and build leadership skills. Our intention is to keep this project going year after year. We know we can do great things together and make a very big impact on many Haitian lives.


    We want to help Denis achieve his goal of collecting 1,000 backpacks by September 1, 2017.  I’m thinking we can collect at least 1,001.

    If you would like to help PFA reach its goal of collecting at least 1,001 backpacks, we are collecting the following:

    • Gently-used or new backpacks (including drawstring bags)
    • Pens
    • Pencils
    • Notebooks
    • Calculators

    Donations should be dropped off by Aug. 9, 2017, at Partners For Achievement, 2 Mid America Plaza #1010, Oakbrook Terrace, IL. For more information, contact Dan Farnesi at 630-728-6131.

    Dan Farnesi is executive vice president of Partners For Achievement. Read more about Farnesi and the rest of the Partners For Achievement team.








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