Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack Fundraiser


We hosted a “Virtual Packing Event” online fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack. Our initial goal was “packing” 500 bags with an initial fundraising goal of $2,000 (a cost per bag of $4). Donations received for this online fundraiser will cover costs to provide prepacked bags of weekend food to supplement week-day meals that Chicago kids are receiving through other community resources. Blessings in a Backpack created an online donation portal for us through which donors could give and see progress towards our goal.

Additionally, to coincide with the money being raised via the Virtual Packing Event, we organized a notecard drive to create positive notecards that will be attached to the bags of food for the children and will provide them with positive words of encouragement over the weekend. Our goal was to collect 250 handmade notecards.


Blessings in a Backpack is a national organization made up of seven regional chapters and more than 1,000 volunteer-driven programs. Their mission is preventing childhood hunger on the weekends for the kids who need us most. Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. ”

We chose to support Blessings in a Backpack because ~18 Million kids are expected to face hunger due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Tyson Foods employees, we looked for a cause to see “how much good food can do.”

Analysis of Success

Lessons Learned

  • Find a worthy cause that everyone on the team feels passionately about. We spent extra time up front to choose the right charity and fundraiser. We felt behind in the moment, but it paid off later when we didn’t have to tweak anything while we were executing.
  • Meet early and often to keep everything on track! A team member got married during the quarter and our presentations were the week of the Memorial Day holiday. Had we not started meeting earlier on in the project we could have easily fallen behind.
  • Leverage team members individual strengths. We leaned into what our teammates were good at or volunteer to do- everyone was way more engaged, and we didn’t feel like we needed to chase anyone around to get their part done.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Don’t be afraid to aim high. Your goals should be realistic with some optimism baked in. You do not want to sandbag or express a lack of confidence in your project.
  • Don’t start your fundraiser before the Risk Plan is due/complete. It’s tempting to get a jump on the fundraiser by starting early but you don’t want to be identifying risks as you are experiencing them.
  • Take your time on the WBS, Gantt Chart and Responsibility Matrix. If you put the work in on those you will have every deliverable mapped out and protect from scope creep. Avoid emergency meetings to address a deliverable that was not accounted for. The upfront investment saved our team so much time later.