BACK@YOU held its 3rd Annual BACKPACK BLUES Benefit, and it continues to get bigger and better! This year we raised over $5,200 with help from over 40 silent-auction donors made up of local businesses and supporters. Bands Church on Wheels, Jason Cooper, and our headliner, Uncle Albert, made this one of the not-to-be missed events of the spring! It was a big party with great music, and food and drink served by the wonderful staff at BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups!
Once again, Keith Robinson produced the music portion of our benefit and talked these wonderful acts into donating their time and talents. Keith, a regular drummer for Chuck Berry and who played on Chuck’s soon to be posthumously released album, spent almost six months putting our event together, and we owe much of our success to him, as well as an eternal amount of gratitude.
A big thanks also to Steve Petersen who has taken great photos of all of the goings on for the third year, giving us wonderful memories of each BACKPACK BLUES Benefits.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, sponsors, and supporters this year, our backpacks will have some wonderful upgrades and additions. Bombas Socks donated 1,000 pairs of socks for our backpacks, allowing us to increase the number of thermal socks in each backpack. A grant from Jewish Fund for Human Needs will allow us to put six 18-hour body/hand warmers in each backpack, which could save the life of someone unable to get into a shelter on a cold winter night. And there was enough from the grant to upgrade our hoodies from over-the-head style to zippered, making it easier to layer in the cold weather.
We also owe a great deal of thanks to our partners who generously donated items for our silent auction. These businesses are listed on our partners page and we hope you will support them with your patronage as they support the good work we are doing in our community.
In 2016, we doubled the number of backpacks we distributed from the prior year, from 200 to 400. This year we will again hand out 400 but with upgrades. With your ongoing support, we will grow and increase the ways we can help our homeless neighbors. So please continue to follow us and spread the word! BACK@YOU sees the homeless, and we’ve got their backs.