Schools urged to help fill rucksacks for the children of Ukraine

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A campaign to provide backpacks of books, toothbrushes, water bottles and other much-need items for the children of Ukraine is seeking support from schools.

The Packed with Hope initiative has been launched by two independent UK publishers in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the harrowing pictures of suffering and destruction we are seeing.

The aim is to distribute 10,000 filled rucksacks to children affected and displaced by the war.

The rucksacks will contain a selection of books, notebooks, colouring pencils, pencil cases and stationery and other items.

Schools and pupils are invited to get involved either by fundraising or by donating items. Most urgently needed are filled pencil cases.

Pupils could “pack a pencil case” – filling a small pencil case with selected items such as crayons, notepads, stickers and so on.

Alongside the books, other items in the packs include toothbrushes, hairbrushes, water bottles, puzzles, bags of marbles, warm hats, gloves and socks, and hot-water bottles.

Little Toller Books and Bluemoose Books are behind Packed with Hope and a JustGiving campaign is underway to raise £75,000 to support the purchase of items and the distribution of the rucksacks. At the time of writing, £56,000 has already been pledged.

Little Toller Books and Bluemoose aim to provide at least 30,000 books themselves and are inviting publishers, bookshops and authors to donate picture books and paperbacks for children of different ages. All books must be accessible to children for whom English is not their first language.

The filled rucksacks will be sent overland to countries bordering Ukraine, including Poland or Romania. There will be rucksacks tailored for different age ranges, from 0 through to 16-years-old.

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