Sometimes it takes unfortunate circumstances, like schoolchildren carrying their things using trash bags, to prove the American spirit of ingenuity is alive and well. Case in point: New York’s Scot and Jacqueline Tatelman created State Bags, a company that gives a backpack to a child in need every time one of their bags is purchased.
"PackMen" and "PackWomen" travel the country delivering backpacks to underprivileged schoolchildren, while sharing lessons of hope, courage and leadership. Scot believes State Bags’ mission has a deeper impact because of these role models, who come from the same tough neighborhoods and face the same obstacles as the children they serve.
At one “bag drop,” PackMan Rick tells the kids that he carries a pair of eyeglasses around in his bag to remind him of when was picked on. “It was so bad that I stopped doing my schoolwork,” he says. The glasses now represent his struggle and why it’s important not to bully.
Positive messages are in the bag
Together, these men and women are motivating at-risk kids to rise above their situations and make positive choices. The Boys & Girls Clubs directors whose students have benefitted from the bag drops say the members gain not only a new mentor, but also a friend.
“The excitement of the group and the positive message they share helped reiterate what we talk about on a daily basis,” says Andrea Nix, a Florida club director. “The bags filled a great need.”
Doing well by doing good
Through a unique mix of charity and commerce, and wants fulfilling needs, with companies like State Bags, we can send a message to the smallest among us who are facing the biggest obstacles: We have your back.