Backpacks Supplies and More!
This FPUPC-sponsored event was formerly known as “Christmas in August” and provides free backpacks filled with school supplies to disadvantaged children in the City of Poughkeepsie. In a typical year, approximately 1200 backpacks are handed out on a Saturday morning just before the start of the school year.
The fund-raising for this event begins in the spring of the year with appeals to the FPUPC congregation and local businesses and service organizations. The backpacks and school supplies are ordered by a group of dedicated members of the FPUPC congregation and a number of backpack-stuffing sessions take place in early August to prepare for the backpack giveaway.
The Christ Episcopal Church of Poughkeepsie graciously donates the use of their grounds and facilities so that this event can be held in close proximity to where the need is greatest.
The Poughkeepsie / Arlington Rotary helps make the backpack giveaway a festive occasion by firing up the gas grill and cooking hamburgers and hot dogs that are provided free of charge to the event participants. A “bouncy house” is rented for the occasion and the play facilities of Christ Episcopal are made available for their use.
The New York State Police are present at the event to meet with the residents of the community.
In addition to the funds raised by members and friends of FPUPC, significant additional funding is contributed by the Poughkeepsie / Arlington Rotary, IBM Corporation, the Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley, and the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. Members of our sister congregations including Christ Episcopal and the First Congregational Church of Poughkeepsie also provide financial support for the Backpacks program.