Knightdale Back-to-School Backpack Drive Seeking Sponsors

Students with their Dream Coat Ministries backpacks and DCM volunteers. Photo: Kay Whatley (2017)
Students with their Dream Coat Ministries backpacks and DCM volunteers. Photo: Kay Whatley (2017)

Going back to school should be a time of excitement. New classroom, new teachers, new books, new supplies. For many children, though, it isn’t. The increase in back-to-school costs has a direct impact on children living in extreme poverty.

In the United States alone, 16 million children do not have the basics that they need to learn — backpacks, books, and school supplies. This is where your sponsorship can help.

Dream Coat Ministries is known in the Knightdale, North Carolina community for both its thrift store and work with Now Faith Community Baptist Church — where people are invited to monthly “Around the Tables” events and can select free clothing and fellowship over a meal.

Each year, Dream Coat holds a “Back-to-School Back Pack Drive” where it signs up children and teens in need of school supplies. The supplies are then collected from individual and corporate donors. The registered students may then select a backpack and fill it with supplies from a long table covered with donated paper, writing implements, erasers, folders, and more.

School supplies were provided to registered students at Knightdale giveaway at Now Faith Community Baptist Church. Photo: Kay Whatley (2017)
School supplies were provided to registered students at Knightdale giveaway at Now Faith Community Baptist Church. Photo: Kay Whatley (2017)

Adding Books to Backpacks

For 2018, Dream Coat is working with The Busy Bookworms to add Usborne Books & More (UBAM) books to the student’s backpacks. UBAM is an award winning children’s publisher with books for newborns to young adults on topics from art to zoology. This includes science, technology, math, phonics, music, books for homeschooling curriculum, fun and interactive activity books, and books to help children manage emotions that stem from anxiety, grief, and even being bullied.

For the month of July, founder of nonprofit Dream Coat Ministries, Sheila Prosser, and local Knightdale resident, Vanessa Taylor Dalal, founder of The Busy Bookworms and Independent Consultant with UBAM, are partnering to raise $10,000 in new UBAM books for Dream Coat’s “Back-to-School Backpack Drive.”

To help prepare children in need for the 2018/2019 school year, donations from the Knightdale and (surrounding areas) business and residential community would be appreciated, and would be used for the purchase of UBAM books for backpack recipients.  Sponsorship from individual donors are also graciously accepted.

There are two ways to donate to provide books to backpack recipients. The first is through this GoFundMe page. Levels of sponsorship — Platinum, Gold, Silver, etc. — are outlined on GoFundMe. In exchange, all sponsors can add marketing/promotional material to the “sponsor packets” given to the parents of the students who receive the backpacks. Sponsors in the Platinum, Gold, Silver Bronze, Advocate, Sustainer, and Supporter will also be thanked on their individual social media platforms and in promotions done on various Raleigh community pages, to give sponsors recognition that may benefit their businesses.

The second way to donate is in the form of UBAM purchases using Dream Coat’s link. Dream Coat will benefit from outside purchases in the form of accrued hostess rewards. All funds raised (100%) will go towards the purchase of UBAM books for Dream Coat’s students in the community.

To learn more about this book drive for backpacks, email Vanessa Taylor Dalal, or message The Busy Bookworms on Facebook.

Provide School Supplies and Backpacks

Donors who wish to provide backpacks or school supplies may donate to Dream Coat Ministries directly in funds or supplies. Donations may be made directly at the Dream Coat Ministries thrift store, located at 861 Old Knight Road, Suite 112, Knightdale NC — behind Bojangles. Stop by the store and see the list of school supply needs posted in the school supply area.

Monetary donations may be made in person, via the “Give” page on the charity’s website, or — for those who shop on — you can either select Dream Coat Ministries as your “Amazon Smile” recipient so they receive a percentage of funds from when you buy for yourself, or purchase school supplies and have them shipped to the thrift store.

In addition to individual giving, Dream Coat welcomes business sponsorship of the Back-to-School Backpack Drive either by purchasing UBAM books as described above, or by providing funding to purchase backpacks and school supplies. Dream Coat makes their donated dollars stretch far, ensuring monetary donations help them reach as many students in need as they can.

Deadline for Back-to-School Needs

Backpacks are being given out at the beginning of August and September; this fundraiser ends July 31, 2018. If you can give, please give now.

To learn more about this year’s back-to-school partners, visit the Facebook pages for  The Busy Bookworms and Dream Coat Ministries.

If you have a child or teen in need of school supplies for the upcoming school term, stop by the Dream Coat Ministries thrift store in Knightdale, or call Sheila Prosser, founder of this locally active nonprofit, at 919.217.2001.

See how the Around The Tables events provide backpacks each school year, and clothing and a meal every month year-round, on this Dream Coat Ministries web page.


Ed. Note: We covered one of the Dream Coat Ministries backpack giveaways at an Around The Tables event in 2017, and our article with photos may be read here.

Source: The Busy Bookworms and Dream Coat Ministries

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.