Started in July 2003, Hall’s two sons, Jimmy Greer and Joey Greer, wanted JanSport backpacks. When they got them, they chose to donate their old backpacks to the homeless services center.
With the interest sparked in her by her two sons, Hall came up with the idea to create the backpack project and has continued every year since, with growing numbers.
Hall’s family makes up her main team with her two sons, her daughter Taylor Hall, and her husband Steve Hall.
“I created an email list of all my friends and it just kept growing every year, along with the number of backpacks we would provide,” Hall said.
Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have also made a huge impact on the project and the number of people that are now involved.
“Social media has taken this thing leaps and bounds,” Hall said. Search Lynda and Kids Backpack Project on Facebook or follow Hall on Twitter at Lhall3L14.
Students from the local schools also come and help because it counts towards their community service hours and the backpacks only take one day to fill.
This year, Hall and her team will fill up all the backpacks with school supplies on August 9.
The Lynda and Kidz Backpack Project accepts new and gently used backpacks.
Gently used means that the backpacks are clean, the zippers work and there are no holes or tears.
“The thing that sets us apart from all the other backpack projects in Santa Cruz County is that we do accept gently used backpacks,” Hall said.
A donation of $25 will fill a backpack with the necessary school supplies, and the list of supplies may be found on the project’s website www.lynda-kidz-backpack-project.info.
This year Hall hopes to bring in 500 backpacks for the children of Santa Cruz County.
“Our goal is to ensure that all kids have the necessary tools to be successful in school, which will break any cycle they’re struggling with,” Hall said.
The project works directly with the Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz County, Walnut Street Women’s Center, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Elm Street Mission, and Harbor Light Church. On August 10, the project will deliver backpacks to homeless and low-income children at Beach Flats Park, 160 Raymond Street in Santa Cruz.
To drop off a backpack and/or donation, the drop locations are Deluxe Foods at 783 Rio Del Mar Blvd #25 in Aptos, The True Olive Connection at 106 Lincoln St. in Santa Cruz, Felton Nails at 6265 Graham Hill Rd. in Felton, and the US Post Office at 6101 Gushee St in Felton.
Extra giveaways are also welcomed for people who would like to donate hats, t-shirts, alarm clocks, note books and radio station stickers.
“It’s not just important that they have the tools to be successful, but to be successful,” Hall said.