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100+ Local Youth Receive New Backpacks

Over one thousand school supplies; 100+ backpacks; 100+ hotdogs, drinks, and smoothies; 24 360° videos, 15 community partners, and a DJ made countless smiles this week at our Back to School Celebration.

On Wednesday Littles and their siblings got backpacks and school supplies to start the year off right.

After two years of giving away backpacks through a drive-thru, this year’s event allowed Bigs, Littles and their families, donors, and staff to mingle open-house style for the first time since 2019. It was a beautiful evening!


This celebration is always a unique time of year for the agency.

Littles and Bigs usually meet out in the community rather than onsite at Big Brothers Big Sisters, so this is one of the few times of year matches and families come together as a big group with our staff. It is a favorite event for the entire BBBS team.


Upon entering our parking lot, matches and their families entered through a colorful balloon arch Slappy from the Kalamazoo Wings, Alice in Wonderland from A Moment of Magic, DJ Chris, and BBBS staff were there to wish them luck as they prepare for the school yearKD Sales‘ balloon décor was the perfect touch to welcome our families to the festivities.

Captured Classics caught the most memorable moments in their 360 photo boothCheck the gallery out here. You’ll see familiar faces including our CEO, Amy Kuchta, many BBBS staff, and youth both shy and hamming it up for the camera!


Thank you to all of the generous donors who helped make the evening magical. Our friends at Stryker and Nulty Insurance provided backpacks and school supplies for each participant. Smoothie King provided smoothies to keep everyone cool all evening long. Costco, Culver’sApple Knockers Ice Cream ParlorRitter’s Frozen CustardSportsman’s Warehouse shared goodies for each family. Julie Howes, Gina and Greg Chimner, and Jacque Jennings-Carter also donated school supplies and feminine hygiene products.

Discover KalamazooKalamazoo Nature Center, the Kalamazoo Public Library BookmobileOutFront KalamazooThe Kalamazoo PromiseRooteadBoys & Girls Club of Greater KalamazooPrevention WorksKalamazoo Public Safety, and JCPenney all showed up with fun activities for youth to enjoy: face painting! Corn the corn snake! Scavenger hunts and giveaways! Thank you to each of these organizations for the ways you made the evening memorable!

Thank you to the many partners who came together to make this event possible. Your support ensures our Littles and their families have a great start to their school year!

Do you have a Little in your life that would benefit from a Big? Visit our Enroll a Child page for more information.