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Volunteers Pack 25,000 Backpacks for Kids at Action Day

We know when our kids do better, we ALL do better.

That’s why more than 3,000 volunteers gathered at Target Center last week for Action Day, a hands-on event that helps Twin Cities kids in need as they go back to school. Action Day is a collaboration between Greater Twin Cities United Way, all seven of Minnesota’s pro sports team including hosts Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, and corporate sponsors Ecolab, Land ‘O Lakes, Polaris, and UPS.

Volunteers first made “encouragement cards” for children going back to class with positive messages like “game on for school!” and “you’re going to have a great year!”

Then, they entered the backpack-packing line where volunteers grabbed school supplies like notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, and calculators and put them in the pack, along with an encouragement card. At the end, volunteers put their completed backpack in a large bag that was transported to Target Center’s loading zone.

In the loading zone, more than 50 local nonprofits and partners pulled up vehicles to receive the packed backpacks to take back to their sites and distribute to kids they serve.

During the event, live shots from around the arena were broadcast on Target Center’s JumboTron with host Shed G., keeping volunteers appraised of the packing progress. Just before the event end time of 8 p.m., Shed got on the mic to announce the goal of 25,000 backpacks had just been reached and everyone on the floor celebrated!

Action Day is Greater Twin Cities United Way’s largest volunteer effort, and it continues to grow every year. The event’s long-term goal is to send every student in the greater Twin Cities area to school with a backpack full of supplies by 2021. Next year, Action Day 2019 will take place at the Xcel Energy Center, hosted by the Minnesota Wild.

It’s not too late for you to get in on the Action Day action- you can still make an impact on our hometown kids when you buy a backpack for just $28 to send a child to school ready to learn.

Remember, your action matters!

Jenna Bennett is a creative brand strategist at Greater Twin Cities United Way, where she enjoys crafting content strategy for multiple GTCUW channels. She volunteered at Action Day on August 9, both packing backpacks and working with GTCUW’s marketing team.

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