The Pay It Forward Challenge
The food bank's Backpack Buddies program provides satchels full of nutritional meals and snacks for needy children to take home on weekends. Many of these children are on a free-lunch program at school with parents who work on the weekends, leaving it up to the kids to find nutritional meals at home. When they don't eat well over the weekend, Julie explains, the children aren't up to their full potential when they return to school on Monday.
With her Bank of America card in hand, Julie heads to Wal-Mart with some employees from the Lowcountry Food Bank. Their purchases will fill more than 300 backpacks. The Wal-Mart employees have a surprise for Julie as well—the store is matching her $1,000 donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank! And that's not all—Beaufort County School District superintendent Phil McDaniel and his wife contribute another $500 to the cause.
Inspired by the experience, Julie continues to raise money for the food bank. She's working with the Beaufort County School District to plan a fundraiser, splitting the proceeds between the schools' scholarship fund and the Backpack Buddies program. "Childhood poverty and hunger continues to be a problem," Julie says. "No child should ever go hungry in this country, yet they are. So I am determined to do more to add to this challenge."