Backpacks to Hope is a project that is very close to me. When I was younger I spent 5 1/2 years in foster care. One of the things I always remember is the feeling of hopeless desperation and embarrassment on the first days of school, because like so many other children in they system I never had any school supplies or a new backpack. Now life is different for me - I have a family. I believe in the idea of "paying it forward" and never forgetting where you come from. I want to give kids in the system some hope and help them feel better about starting school. So this is why, at the end of the 06-07 school year, I began collecting backpacks for the children living in foster care at The Children's Home in Tampa. First, I went to my mom's school and presented my idea to all the teachers that work at that school (Seminole Heights Elementary). I asked for their help to collect backpacks and school supplies for the children at the Children's Home. I collected ten backpack; lots os school supplies (crayons, pencils, folders, and paper), and $120 dollars in bills for backpacks. The total was about $220. Then I presented this project to everyone at my school. I sent flyers home to the students at my school. I ended up collecting more than twenty backpacks, pencils, paper, crayons, markers, folders, erasers, glue, spiral notebooks, notebooks, glue sticks, scissors, and lunch boxes. I estimated everything donated from my school to be worth over $500. This year I am again collecting backpacks and school supplies. My goal is to supply each child living at the Children's Home with a backpack and school supplies.