A mission outside of Cologne
On Thursday, May 12th, 2022, BP4K Founder and Executive Director William Vaughan headed to the outskirts of Cologne to hand out BP4K backpacks. He brought a lady named Olja and our official 1,000th backpack with him.
A few weeks ago we asked Cassandra to prepare backpack number 1,000. It sat in studio 7 waiting for today. Just like Cassandra, you can’t miss backpack #1,000. It’s cool, chic, and totally designed for an awesome little girl!
Olja Ruppel left Estonia when she was 17 and immigrated to Germany. She is married to Glenn (who loves to hunt), and has a son named Evan. She is employed by the city of Koln and works in the accounting department. When the city organized their emergency response services, she was quickly called upon because of her Russian Language skills. Olga dived right into the job of setting up the refugee center that you see now. It was through her persistence that a nursery was established and a large area for children to play, color, and have their own space. And it was Olja who embraced Operation BackPack4Kids and welcomed us like partners. From the very beginning she treated our people like ambassadors. She worked countless hours of overtime and put her heart and soul into helping the Ukrainian refugees. It was only fitting that she hand out backpack # 1,000.
We told Olja earlier that she could give the backpack to any girl she wanted, it was her choice. Within seconds of arriving at a small town outside Koln, Olja spotted a young girl in the back of the crowd, holding her mothers leg. Her name was Alicia, a 6 year old from Chernihiv. She came to Germany 4 weeks ago with her mother and her brother Viktor. Olja had found her girl, and the rest? We’ll let the photos speak for themselves…
[DISCLAIMER] – We have actually given out 1,622 backpacks to date. 218 went out today in two different towns close to Cologne. When we were 20 short… our van went back for more! We made sure everyone got a backpack today.
What you have done… is beyond words. We hope that you share these photos and stories with your family and friends and show them what can happen when good people pull the rope in the same direction. Thank you everyone, words cannot explain what is happening here.