The Hopewell-based Christine’s Hope for Kids Foundation (CHFK), founded on the principle that every child deserves the chance to be a kid regardless of the circumstances, has just completed its latest campaign in a string of events to celebrate its five-year anniversary: Operation Backpack. The wildly successful Operation Backpack was inspired by the reality that many children do not have the supplies or resources needed for the upcoming school year. The Foundation’s goal was to fill hundreds of backpacks with pencils, paper, notebooks, and additional supplies to distribute to local kids in need throughout Mercer County.
The backpack initiative is an annual undertaking for CHFK, but this year’s Operation Back Pack exceeded all expectations with a goal of 1,005 backpacks, almost double of last year. With the help of 20 volunteers, 60 volunteer hours completed, 148 delivery miles driven, 1,005 backpacks filled, and 1,005 happy kids. In conjunction with New Jersey Women in Banking, The JM Group of Princeton and Noto Insurance Agency this was the Foundation’s largest backpack donation to date. With the support of the above sponsors and other countless donors and volunteers, each backpack contained a host of items in order to make each child feel special in addition to feeling prepared.
At the close of this summer’s Operation Backpack, the 1,005 backpacks were shared with ten different agencies for distribution to individual children: Children’s Home Society, Homefront, WomanSpace, One Simple Wish, Mill Hill Child Development Center, Trenton Soup Kitchen, Princeton Human Services, Pennrose Social Services, Princeton YMCA Child Resources, and Resource Family Advisory Board—Child and Family Services.
Christine’s Hope for Kids was founded to continue the legacy of the late Christine Gianacaci, a 22-year-old Lynn University student hailing from Hopewell. Christine had a passion for helping children in need and was fulfilling that passion on a January 2010 mission to Haiti when her life was tragically taken by a catastrophic earthquake. Her determined pursuit of spreading hope to children worldwide led her parents, Jean and John, to found the organization in her honor. The Foundation looks to further Christine’s legacy and maintain momentum in the years to come.