Russell Horning, or “Backpack Kid” to his fans, uses his growing fame to spread positivity and encourage youth around the world. Recently, he’s raised awareness of Backpacks for Africa, an organization delivering backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged villages in Africa.
Backpack Kid is no stranger to charity. Besides working on his debut album, making guest appearances across the country and finishing school, he often speaks out against racism and rallies his millions of followers to give back to their communities. He’s supported various organizations and charity auctions in a short time, donating some of his personal belongings along the way to raise awareness and funds for causes such as the Salvation Army and the Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society.
Art and education are at the forefront of his charitable efforts. He regularly shows support of local Gwinnett County schools and the Aurora Theatre of Gwinnett which gave him his start in entertainment. He’s performed his legendary “floss” moves for students at various schools and encouraged students to complete their education and pursue their dreams. He’s even appeared at elementary schools with donations of backpacks and school supplies for students in partnership with local charities.
Recently, Backpack Kid has raised support for and awareness of an emerging non-profit organization called Backpacks for Africa. The organization’s mission is to provide school children across many African countries with supplies and backpacks to help further their education.
“A lot of these kids don’t have the basic stuff they need to learn and succeed in school,” says Backpack Kid. “They need help from people like us who can help them get all the supplies school required.”
Backpacks for Africa aims to improve the entire learning environment by supplying the most basic essentials and enhancing physical locations. The team behind the organization has a hands-on approach to support and work with the people of the African villages to rebuild and improve classroom conditions.
What sets Backpacks for Africa apart from similar charities is their effort to not only raise bulk supplies for students, but to personalize the donations for every kid. Instead of receiving bulk school supplies, the organization fundraises and collects donations of individual backpacks that are filled with basic school supplies (such as notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, etc). Each student gains a sense of personal ownership of their “school ready” backpack and a feeling of being individually cared for. Donating backpacks full of supplies also resolves any concern over unfair distribution or favoritism among the students.
The organization is small now and caters to one school in Lilongwe, Malawi but has a lot of growing steam behind their mission. And thanks to support from celebrities like Backpack Kid, Backpacks for Africa has plenty of potential to meet their goal of working with a broad range of African schools to improve academic performance.