Operation Backpack4Kids

A grassroots effort of Airline Pilots working together with their local communities, the Red Cross, and local Emergency Services to help thousands of displaced Ukrainian child-refugees by providing aid while they transition to a new life.

What we do:

We are a group of airline pilots who regularly fly to Europe. We witness first-hand thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing for safer areas in Western Europe. They are almost entirely women and children.

Seeing hundreds arriving each hour at the main train station in Cologne Germany, 747 pilot and Operation Backpack4Kids founder William Vaughan asked the local German Red Cross Services Director if bringing some backpacks filled with essential items (blankets, hats and gloves, toothbrush, etc.), would help refugee kids. The response Bill got was, “How many and how soon can you get them here?” Operation Backpack4Kids was born.

Since it’s inception, BP4K has delivered hundreds of backpacks to kids arriving in Cologne and surrounding towns. We’ve made special trips to Poland, not only handing out backpacks, but helping the local refugee effort however we could. We’ve made special bags for mothers with newborns, special needs families, and families traveling with elder parents and grandparents. We have even managed to have our backpacks delivered to refugee sites within the Ukraine border. Our goal remains simple: Help refugee children fleeing Ukraine.

Drawings made by kids at Cologne Refugee Processing Center

How you can help:

Donate! We use your contribution to source backpacks and supplies for kids ages 2-12 in Cologne, Germany. To date we have delivered thousands of bags which we couldn’t have done without your donations.

Make a backpack! From time to time as transport opportunities present themselves, we can accept bags made in the USA. Please contact us and reference the How to make a backpack page before making your bag. **Note: we will post information when these opportunities become available.**

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