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The Christine’s Hope for Kids Foundation, 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 school supplies to distribute to local kids in need throughout Mercer County.

The backpack initiative is an annual undertaking for Christine’s Hope for Kids (“CHFK”), but this year’s Operation Backpack exceeded all expectations filling 1,005 backpacks, almost double that 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 not only basic supplies, but also rulers, calculators, binders, pencil cases, and 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 Area Soup Kitchen, Princeton Human Services, Pennrose Social Services, Princeton YMCA Child Resources, and Resource Family Advisory Board—Child and Family Services.

CHFK 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.

As continued celebration of its five-year anniversary, CHFK is gearing up for its next fundraising event, The Sixth Annual CHFK Golf Event, a tournament to be held on September 28, 2015 at the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton. And their “Five for Five” campaign is also still in effect — with a $100 donation, donors will receive five celebratory notecards, each of which represents a child in need.

For more information on upcoming events and other ways to support Christine’s Hope for Kids, please visit the Foundation’s website, www.christineshope.org.

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