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Backpack Drive for the Homeless


2-4 hours


You choose the place in your community: in your neighborhood, at your school, at a local business or place of worship, or any other location that works for you


All year long (but the end of the school year is a particularly good time!)


Class, troop, or other group of like-minded kids (some adult involvement may be required to help with planning and drop off of collected items).


Homeless individuals often have to carry their belongings with them at all times. By providing sturdy backpacks in which to carry their things, you help safeguard their belongings and help preserve the dignity of people in need.


Without a place to call home, many people experiencing homelessness must carry their belongings with them at all times. By collecting backpacks for Boston's homeless, you help to ensure that people in need are able to safely carry their clothes, food, medications and other essential items. The end of the school year is a great time to collect old backpacks!


1. Computer, printer and paper to make flyers/signs

2. Large cardboard boxes or storage bins to collect donations

3. Plastic bags for transporting items (or shipping boxes, if mailing donations)



Decide when and where to hold your backpack drive and follow the instructions provided. Contact Ashley Medlar, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at if you have any questions or to schedule a time to drop off your donations. See VIEW INSTRUCTIONS below for details.


Sound like fun?VIEW INSTRUCTIONS to get started.
Sending or dropping off items to a nonprofit? Don't forget to tell them you found them through PGK! Download and print a packing slip here.

1. Make signs and flyers letting people know that you are collecting backpacks for homeless individuals in Boston. Let them know how long you are running your collection (at least 2 or 3 weeks is suggested) and where they should bring their backpacks. Be sure to ask permission before placing donation bins in your selected location(s). Mark the bins clearly with signs telling all the details of your drive. Be sure to let people know that backpacks can be used but should be empty and in good shape.

2. Put signs where you are allowed (and be sure to ask first). Electronic flyers and social media are also great ways to get the word out. Be sure to ask family and friends to help spread the word too!

3. Periodically check your donation bins during the course of your drive and empty out, as necessary (to make more room).

4. At the end of the collection period, put the donations in plastic bags for transport. Also be sure that all backpacks are empty. If you are mailing your donations, put them in a strong shipping box.

5. Drop off or mail your donations to: St. Francis House, 39 Bolyston Street, Boston, MA 02116.

*We are able to accept donations daily between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

6. Be sure to let us know that you found this volunteer opportunity through PGK!

7. Kindly fill out this PGK impact form when you’ve completed the activity.