This summer, several Ross Medical Education Centers teamed up together to support Pack Your Back. Ross in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ross in Brighton, Michigan, Ross in Davison, Michigan, and Ross in Flint, Michigan joined together during July and August to collect much needed school supplies for families in the Flint area. Pack Your Back is a nonprofit organization established in 2016 by students after organizers noticed the financial burden families were facing in the Flint, Michigan area due to the water crisis. Pack Your Back is working this year to supply the children of Flint, Michigan and beyond with the supplies needed to support successful classroom learning.
Pack Your Back was started by a group of Central Michigan University (CMU) students and alumni in March 2016. CMU student Galen Miller was volunteering in Flint with his fraternity. As they continued to deliver water and other supplies to the residents suffering from the water crisis, Miller noticed that as the major media outlets began to leave, so did the help. Galen met with friends after the event and they decided to help. The group was officially approved as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in May 2016 and Galen serves as the Executive Director. They began collecting funds and school supplies to donate to the children of Flint and beyond and have partnered this year with Little Miss Flint, Mari Copeny. Ross Medical Education Center became involved during the summer of 2016 when Board Member Anna Krinke shared the opportunity with the Brighton and Ann Arbor campuses.
Students at all campuses contributed generously to the cause and donated over 1000 school supplies. Emily Payne, student in the Medical Assistant program at the Flint campus explained that, “in the city of Flint it is often that young children go without necessary supplies for school.” She believes that it’s important that, “as a community we come together to support the future leaders of our world.” Pack Your Back relies on the kind donations from the community and businesses. Flint student China Lowe shared, “we do it for Flint Community Schools because education is important and the key to success.” In addition to supplies, monetary donations are also encouraged. The campuses collected pencils, notebooks, pens, paper, crayons, glue sticks, backpacks, and other school essentials.
During the next few weeks, Pack Your Back will donate 15,000 filled backpacks to selected local Flint schools, where the backpacks will be ready for the first day of school. Ann Arbor student, Zaina Carr, stared that she was “so happy to be a part of such a wonderful drive.” Students who do not attend the selected schools were able to pick up supplies at a general distribution at Mott Community College on August 31st.The distribution featured Little Miss Flint. “The only way a student can succeed in the classroom is by having the proper tools and resources needed to do so,” said Galen Miller, Executive Director of Pack Your Back. The Ross Medical Education Centers in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Davison and Flint are proud to contribute to that success.