The Dallas Public Library is asking residents of the metro Dallas area to collect supplies and backpacks for the third annual Backpack Challenge and Giveaway. Backpacks and supplies can be dropped off at any Dallas Public Library location by Wednesday, November 15. The winter supply and backpack collection raises awareness of the issues facing those experiencing homelessness in Dallas for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 11-19. Backpacks will be distributed to library visitors experiencing homelessness starting at 10 am on Wednesday, November 22 at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., 75201.
In 2016, the Dallas Public Library collected and distributed over 250 backpacks to library visitors experiencing homelessness. This year, the library hopes to increase its impact with a goal to collect and distribute 500 backpacks. Metro Dallas residents are asked to work with their families, coworkers and friends to fill gender neutral backpacks with the following materials:
- Winter hat
- Rain poncho
- Warm socks
- Wool or fleece blanket
- Travel-sized toiletries: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products
- Deck of cards
- Plastic water bottle
- Personal note of encouragement
“Winter is a difficult and even dangerous time for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Dallas Public Library Adult Services Administrator Heather Lowe. “The Backpack Challenge and Giveaway is an opportunity for the library and metro Dallas residents to help keep their homeless neighbors warm this winter. It also allows the library a chance to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our neighbors and remind them we care.”
For those looking to volunteer with the event, there will be opportunities to help library staff sort and pack materials as well as write notes of encouragement. For those wishing to donate monetarily, donations can be made to the Friends of the Dallas Public Library using the phrase “Backpack Challenge.”
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