Help Us Stuff Backpacks This Summer

Our backpack drive supports foster care, New Americans, and affordable living!

Samaritas Backpack Drive | July 14 - August 1

The first day of school can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for any child. However, for those who arrive without the necessary tools, it can lead to feelings of embarrassment and stress, setting them apart from their peers. Recognizing this challenge, we have launched a great initiative called the Samaritas Backpack Drive. This collective effort aims to provide essential supplies to children facing challenging circumstances, ensuring they have the necessary resources to thrive. By rallying the community and fostering positive transformation, Samaritas is making a profound impact on the lives of Michigan's youth.

Items to Donate:

  • Backpacks
    • (Character, patterned or plain)
  • Crayons
  • Safety scissors
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Pocket folders
  • Erasers
  • Glue and glue sticks
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Index cards
  • Pencil pouch/box
  • Calculators
  • Ballpoint pens
    • (blue, black, red)
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • Pocket folders
  • 3-ring binders
  • Rulers
  • Post-it notes
  • Notebooks
  • Tablets

Note: The New Americans Program in Southeast Michigan is only collecting school supplies, not backpacks.

Get Involved

Contact Kayla Park (to drop off at your nearest participating program)
517.449.3270 |

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* Important Notice *

Earlier this year, Samaritas was under investigation by the state for allegations of abuse in our emergency shelter in Grand Rapids. We opened this shelter 26 months earlier for children from Central America crossing the border fleeing from horrible condition; we were asked to take in Afghan youth when there was no other place for them to go after the crisis in Afghanistan occurred. We accepted 19 youth in response to this request and our long-term commitment to help youth to the greatest extent possible at the time of their greatest need. Samaritas was one of several similar emergency shelters across the country asked to take in these refugee youth.

Due to the severe level of trauma they had endured, many of them required intensive therapy and counseling. As a result of the growing concern we had for the depth and breadth of those needs of the youth and the safety of our team, we made the decision to work with our referring partners to move the youth to other programs where they could access the higher level of trauma-informed care, supervision, and medical attention that they required. Due to state and federal oversight of our programs, we are unable to share specific details of the investigation but we were cleared of any abuse allegations by the state and all youth were transferred to appropriate residential placements where they could receive the care they needed. Samaritas continues to be a state and federal leader in refugee resettlement, including refugee foster care.


Please Contact:
Joe DiBenedetto
Lambert & Co.
(516) 637-0597

Matt Friedman
Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
(248) 762-1430