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    1,001 Backpacks for Haiti and Home

    by Dan Farnesi on August 29, 2018 in PFA News

    Three Haitian schoolgirls.

    Partners For Achievement is excited to announce its new service project for 2018: 1,001 Backpacks for Haiti and Home. We are teaming up with students from more than 15 Chicago area high schools to collect new and gently used backpacks and school supplies. This project is a follow up to last year’s inaugural PFA service project that collected more than 2,200 backpacks and 800 pounds of school supplies for children in Haiti. This year, we hope to surpass last year’s results and will be donating 50 percent of the collection to help children in the Chicago area, too.


    This year’s collection will run through Oct. 2, 2018. If you are interested in donating backpacks or school supplies, or want to help in any other way please reach out to Dan Farnesi, PFA Executive Vice President, at 630.728.6131 or [email protected]


    For more background, here is an excerpt from information about our outreach in the summer/fall of 2017:


    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.

    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 Oct. 2, 2018, 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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