Thank You Backpack Team!

Volunteer from Joe’s Place accepting 6 backpacks from UU Backpack Team!

By Karen Rogers

We had a great turnout on Backpack Packing Day and I couldn’t have been more proud! Altogether, we had seventeen happy hard workers! Thank you Darlene Leach, Lee Ann Stoner, Constance Palaia, Parker Scaroni, Willamina Wise, Charles Rogers, Susan Barrett, Marc Mason, Nancy Mason, Camille Korsmo, Ann Igl, Diane Adams, Bertie Foltz, Christie Nelson, Mike Nelson, and David Sligar!

We planned to pack 60 backpacks – more than we ever attempted before at one time – thinking we would have enough backpacks to last for the next packing as well. However, when I called all the schools and agencies to see what they needed, they really wanted all the backpacks we could spare. Additionally, Illinois Valley Alternative Center called a couple of days later requesting six more backpacks (which I packed from home). That makes 65 backpacks that our teams, including Marc and Nancy Mason, Karen and Chas Rogers, Constance Palaia, and Bertie Foltz delivered to places as far south as Cave Junction, as far north as Wolf Creek, and as far west as Rogue River.

Besides schools and alternative schools, Joe’s Place and Gospel Rescue Mission also have need of backpacks. One of the volunteers at Gospel Rescue Mission said that some of their teens who enter the family side with their mothers come with just the shirts of their backs and need everything. Pictured above is a volunteer at Joe’s Place, who was all smiles when we showed up with six backpacks for them.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with the December backpack packing. I will be gone most of January, May, and June and wanted to be sure we did a year’s worth of packing in one day. It was strenuous but we had so much help that we got done packing, then setting the room back up for the next day’s service, in only 2 ½ hours.

Join the December Backpack Packing!

Homeless Teen Backpack Team
and Friends are Packing on

Saturday, December 8th

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

UU Fellowship Grants Pass
129 NW E St, Grants Pass, OR 97526

We are packing 60 backpacks (a huge accomplishment!)
so we won’t have to pack the rest of the year.

Please Come and Help!

Happy report from the Homeless Teen Backpack Project


Pre-Packing Party team!

Nine people came to the pre-packing party on Thursday March 8. We opened bundles of merchandise and separated items into school kits, hygiene kits and first aid kits. We set up snack bundles and silverware bags. Cards were signed and letters were folded and enveloped stuffed. Everyone shared in disposing the oodles of packaging material. The whole process took about one and one half hours with lots of talking, laughing and good fun.

10-backpackDayOn Saturday thirteen people chipped in to help fill the 34 backpacks. Starting at 10:30, it took over an hour to set up and organize the packing tables. Then at 1:00, more people showed up and we spent about an hour and a half to fill the backpacks, break down empty cardboard boxes and put the room back in order. The set up time had the normal order and disorder, along with a bit of very friendly teasing. The actual packing went very smoothly because of extra preparation.

Best of all we met seven new people who stopped by to help after seeing our notice on the website. We shared some of the principles and philosophy of the Unitarian Universalists and invited them back to share more with us.

Thanks to everyone who made this project fun and successful, this week and throughout the school term. Watch for more notices later in the year.

Trudy Dobsyn

Note: All the wonderful photos of Packing Day were taken by James Ronan – a new friend to our project.  Thank you Jim!


Pre-Packing Day – March 2018


Pre-packing Team – Bertie Foltz, Judy Fitzgerald, Phil Hughes-Luing, Trudy Dobsyn, Nancy Yonker, Willa Warren, Carol Goss, and Karen Rogers (taking the picture) and Ann Igl (also not in photo)

Getting all ready for Packing Day today!

A day or so ahead of each big Backpack Packing Day a group gets together to package up the sturdy zippered canvas Hygiene bags, the First Aid bags and School Supplies so they are ready to just slip into the Backpacks.  Thanks Team!

March Backpack Packing Day!


We are coming up to the March Backpack Packing Day! We will be packing 34 packs this time so we are hoping for a big turn out of happy worker bees to lovingly fill those bags. The number of schools needing bags has grown to 16 and we give bags to the Maslow Project and Joe’s Place as well.

It’s a pleasant time – a nice time to meet new folks and do some good at the same time! It rarely takes more than two hours – often only one and you get the pleasure of being involved in a loving, open hearted activity.

Time – Saturday March 10, 2018 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Place – The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 129 NW E Street, Grants Pass, OR

For more information email


Some of our happy teen “worker bees”!