Mary's meals backpack project

(20 Posts)
Lifeisshort123 Thu 08-Sep-16 21:50:00

I recently did a post asking people what they do to help others especially around Christmas time. Mary's Meals Backpack appeal caught my eye and I'd like to make up some backpacks with my children but I've got some question regarding what can go in and what ages are the backpacks for. We have old backpacks that are in good condition, do the backpacks have to be new?
I was also wondering if anyone has done this before where do I take the completed backpacks?
Thank you.!

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Needafiltercoffee Thu 08-Sep-16 22:26:16

Sorry I can't help but I'm interested too! I've heard it being done with old pencil cases filled with new pencils, pens etc.

Lifeisshort123 Thu 08-Sep-16 22:29:20

I think you've got to send the things in a backpack but as long as it's in good condition it doesn't have to be new. I'm hoping to fill one up for a little girl around 10/11yrs old but I am unsure on what age of child these go to and what I need to do so hopefully we can get some answers from someone who has done this before!
I've checked there website and I think it would only cost me £5 to fill one and there are lots of back to school sales on at the moment so hopefully I can do one this year smile

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KingLooieCatz Fri 09-Sep-16 09:04:28

Perhaps you're posting to raise awareness, in which case well done, I hadn't heard of this,but if you have questions it might be a good idea to visit the Mary's Meals website.

KingLooieCatz Fri 09-Sep-16 09:07:46

It looks like they're based in Scotland (might suggest it for DS school) so if you're not in Scotland you might have a job handing them over, there's a contact e-mail on the website though so worth an ask. If they can't collect or you delivering is not worth it (the cost might be more than the value of the backpack) they may be able to suggest a scheme that's more accessible for you.

cexuwaleozbu Fri 09-Sep-16 09:20:30

You don't have to be in Scotland. We are in southern England and our church does dozens of backpacks every year instead of the dodgier send-stuff-and-evangelise Christmas projects that use shoeboxes. The stuff doesn't all have to be new but should be in good-as-new condition.

Lifeisshort123 Fri 09-Sep-16 16:11:44

That sounds great, we live in London so hopefully we can find a local church who is getting involved near us or I might send them an email. Do you know which age of children get the least amount of backpacks?
I've got an old backpack, a pink one so will have to be for a girl but we will buy all new things apart from a teeshirt as we have a used but good condition teeshirt for a 11yr old or a 12yr old girl also a 5yr old boy teeshirt which are in very good condition even though we can't do a boys one at the moment as we don't have a suitable backpack.

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cexuwaleozbu Fri 09-Sep-16 16:17:07

You don't have to send only complete backpacks. When we do it at church we fill as many backpacks as we can and also send a box full of things-to-go-in-backpacks. They can use whatever you send.

No idea whether there's a shortage for any specific age range. I tend to match what I send to the current age of my own DC.

LunaLoveg00d Fri 09-Sep-16 19:11:07

We have sent in used backpacks. As long as they are whole, in reasonable condition, no massive stains from leaking felt tips and with working zips they will be fine.

If you can get a school or church involved and collect a lot of backpacks, you could even ask if a local courier would send them to Mary's Meals for you in return for some good PR.

Floggingmolly Fri 09-Sep-16 19:15:56

We're asked to include washing stuff in ours; soap, flannel, toothpaste and brush, etc. Flip flops or mock crocs. Oh, and san pro.
These kids have nothing sad

KingscoteStaff Sat 10-Sep-16 20:07:21

We did this last Christmas - huge success!

ThomasRichard Sat 10-Sep-16 20:11:26

My grandma does these and buys a mix of new and as-good-as-new. I don't have a complete list but she definitely includes flip-flops, a school dress, a filled pencil case, a wash kit and an exercise book.

Lifeisshort123 Sat 10-Sep-16 21:00:30

Did you do it through your child's school or local church or did you do a backpack on your own?
I'd be instrested to know if they have any drop of point or places we could donate pens/pencils to ect.

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Lifeisshort123 Sat 10-Sep-16 21:02:09

It's upsetting that these kids don't even have Flipflops, I can pick them up for 90p it's so sad. I am going to do my best to find a way to donate atleast one backpack hopefully a few more.

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Lifeisshort123 Sat 10-Sep-16 22:51:41

I have just got an email back from the charity and they said they can do a collection for anyone who has 5 or more backpacks ready to be collected. They also said nothing has to be new apart from the toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.
I should easily be able to fill 5 backpacks for under £25 if we manage to collect some second hand backpacks from friends and we use school supplies that are in good or new condition that we already have to an extent. I am hoping to do the 5 backpacks for a 9-11yr old girl, 10-12yr old girl, 4-6yr old boy another 4-6yr old boy and a 3-5yr old little girl if we can make one for a child that as my youngest DD is only 4. We only currently have one backpack which is pink and is for a 9-11yr old. In the backpack we have a pencil case, pencil, pencil sharpener, 2 markers, 10 coloured pencils, pen (new), 3 notepads (new, activity book (new), 11-12 thin long sleeved teeshirt orginally from H&M, 2 spoons (new), toothbrush (new) and we still need to get a new pair of Flipflops, a new pack of crayons, a new bar of soap and a tube of toothpaste. Is this ok, too much, too little?
Is there anything else we could add?

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Lifeisshort123 Sat 10-Sep-16 22:52:46

Does she know which age of kids get the least backpacks?
That's been a great rough guideline for me to follow so thank you for your post. smile

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PetraDelphiki Sat 10-Sep-16 22:53:38

So glad you posted this thread...I've been meaning to contact them about the same thing and then to get the school to do this rather than operation Xmas child (spit)

TartyTart Sat 10-Sep-16 22:54:17

It's a wonderful charity so glad to see it mentioned here. I tool part in their "set another place at the Christmas table" campaign last year and it really caught my kids' attention.

Lifeisshort123 Sat 10-Sep-16 22:59:01

It seems like a great charity doing so much great work. Glad it caught your kids' attention smile

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maraccas Tue 05-Nov-19 16:45:43

Mary's Meals Backpacks is a great way to support primary kids' education in parts of Africa. All packs should contain a list of items so everyone gets more or less the same. See for details. Many of the contents can be sourced from charity shops so you're giivng twice and recycling at the same time!

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