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“Thanks to the help of my family, friends, neighbors, school and my Girl Scout troop, backpacks are being recycled, repurposed and filled with toiletries to make a difference in lives of homeless people in our community who are in need and most appreciative. Making a difference one backpack at a time!”

Backpacks 4 The Homeless


Calahan created Backpacks 4 The Homeless, one year ago, Calahan and her Girl Scout troop were distributing First Aid kits and winter clothing to the homeless in Downtown Columbia. At the time, Calahan and her troop provided grocery bags for the homeless to carry their items received. While we were driving home, Calahan came up with the thought of providing the homeless a more permanent bag in which to carry their belongings. She thought about how her fellow classmates receive a new backpack nearly every school year and decided to ask the students at her school to donate their gently used backpacks. By the end of registration in August 2017, Calahan had collected approximately 100 backpacks. Then, a local organization that provides backpacks to foster children, donated an additional 60 backpacks. With approximately 160 backpacks in her possession, Calahan decided that she would like to fill the backpacks with toiletries for the homeless. With support from First Reliance Bank, friends, family, neighbors and her Girl Scout troop, Calahan was able to stuff all 160 backpacks with toiletries. The backpacks were distributed in February 2018. WIS coverage links are below. Calahan plans to start another backpack drive (and possibly add a toiletry drive component) next month and also at school registration in August 2018 with plans to distribute the backpacks and toiletries in the Fall of 2018. Calahan is 9 years old and is a third grader in Lexington School District One.

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Lexington Office
  • 203 Mallard Lakes Dr.
  • Lexington, SC 29072