New BP4K partnerships!


***SPECIAL UPDATE***

September 27th, 2022

  • We are happy to announce that BP4K has been vetted and approved by the Microsoft Corporation, and we are now eligible for grants and products from Microsoft. While this announcement may not seem like a big deal, it opens doors to networks and funds previously unavailable.
  • Additionally, we are now part of the Ukraine NGO Coordination Network UNCN. This real time network of over 100 NGOs allows directors instant access to real time data/information in the Ukraine and surrounding countries as the various NGO groups work together to offer their resources to one another. This network connects NGO groups with one another, establishing communication links for directors and staff personal to help deliver their aid more effectively.

Approaching Backpack # 4,000


***UPDATE, September 22nd***
As we close in on backpack number 4,000… that’s right, almost 4,000 backpacks delivered through Operation BackPack4Kids… we cannot rest on our accomplishments. There are still hundreds of thousands of refugee children displaced in Europe. We are in this for the long haul. Running a legitimate, vetted nonprofit requires the energy of a third grader, and the wisdom of a elderly statesman. BP4K has both, otherwise we would have folded shop months ago.

Be rest assured the money, supplies, time, and prayers you have provided this organization have not gone to waste. We continue to be laser focused, working with our trusted partners that we depend on to deliver our backpacks. Because of this, we can see the results of our work. Close to 4,000 children have been given a small glimpse of love and compassion by you, through Operation BackPack4Kids.

Children have a much different method of processing their emotions. Anxiety, pain, and loneliness are constant for the refugee children we are helping. Many of them have not seen their fathers or male family members since the beginning of the war. Many are with their elderly grandparents, and others have no one but another sibling. The situations these children find themselves are harsh, and very hard. But we must remember, they are still children.

The latest delivery of backpacks made their way to Pervomaisk. A medium size city in central Ukraine where thousands of children and the elderly from Eastern Ukraine have fled to avoid the fighting. We know it’s difficult to see these photos without asking the obvious questions. Our volunteers have worked thousands of hours this year trying to help as many children as possible, and we too ask ‘why’. Here are several photos of children in a safe house who recently received a backpack. In the midst of sadness, loneliness, and confusion, they are smiling. They are smiling like it is Christmas morning.

And these smiles, these happy faces, and the brightness shining through their eyes… It happened because of people like you. People who give their time and money so we can give them backpacks full of love.

Enjoy the photos, and as always, thank you for everything you have made possible. In a hundred years we never thought we would give away 1,000 backpacks, and now we are almost at 4,000.

Victoria

Operation Backpack4Kids receives $25,000 IPA Foundation Grant

(Pictured Left to right: IPA Foundation Trustee B757 Capt. Dan Bradley, Operation Backpack4Kids Board of Directors Member MD-11 Capt. Erick Gerdes and IPA Secretary and Foundation Trustee B757 Capt. Lyndon Shumaker

A grassroots effort launched by IPA B747 First Officer Bill Vaughan to aid Ukrainian child refugees has now helped thousands of children in need. Today, the IPA Foundation presented Operation Backpack4Kids, a 501.c.3 organization, with a $25,000 check to aid in its efforts to provide backpacks filled with essential and comfort items to displaced Ukrainian children. 

“Backpack4Kids truly appreciates the Foundation’s support,” said former IPA Vice President Erick Gerdes who serves as an Advisor to the Backpack4Kids Board of Directors. “The IPA Pilot and Staff members who contribute to the Foundation are making a difference in the lives of children around the world.”

    Thousands of backpacks filled with blankets, hats, gloves, and other essential items have been delivered to children arriving in Cologne and surrounding areas, as well as locations in Poland [and within Ukraine]. Backpacks also include comfort items such as a barbie doll, toys or coloring books. The organization even made tailored bags for mothers with newborns, special needs families and families traveling with elder parents and grandparents. 
    While the charity is currently focused on aiding Ukrainian child refugees, Backpack4Kids’ mission has grown to include assisting children around the world who have been affected by major crises. For more information on Backpack4Kids, please visit https://backpack4kids.org/

From the Independent Pilots Association.

A warm thank you from all of us at BP4K!

Transporting medicine across Europe….

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022
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John Bone and Kay Wolf (Exectuve Director of UAR) loading the cooler for a trip to the Ukraine via van… John spends his days volunteering in the Blue and Yellow Crosses supply warehouse when he’s not flying.

John Bone discovers Ukraine Air Rescue

People with compassion for others, do good things, even when it’s not always convenient or fun. Meet retired Delta 777 Captain John Bone of Florida. John said he woke up one morning and watching the news and said he felt like he needed to do something, anything to help he refugees fleeing the Ukraine. After searching the web, he came across Ukraine Air Rescue, and the wheels starting turning. Flying his Cirrus airplane from Florida to Germany, he now flies a weekly mission into Poland (and places close to Poland) delivering medical supplies, transporting doctors, medical staff, and evacuating patients.

BP4K provides temperature controlled coolers used to transport medicine on small aircraft such as John’s plane.

Today John flew flight number twenty with the GoSun powered cooler that we provided UAR. Thanks again to 767Z Captain Stacie B. who made that happen!! We have played a small part in transporting over €140,000 in medicines with these temperature controlled coolers. Way back we told you the story about the need for a transport cooler. Temps are record high in Europe right now, and these coolers are a must have for the logistics chain partners that provide movement for these medications. They have been used almost daily since being handed over, in transport vans and airplanes!

CLICK HERE —>Check out this cool news story about John and his departure from Florida <— CLICK HERE

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Loading up the cooler today for Johns flight. Photo is at Flugplatz Bonn/Hangelar
Thank you to all our supporters, donors, and volunteers!

Everyone who has provided support to BP4K through time, money, supplies… you did it because you believe in what we are doing. That takes a tremendous amount of trust. It is a sacred honor among the leadership of BP4K to spend the resources you provided in a manner that has a direct and impactful result on the lives of children who are affected by disasters outside their control.

From backpacks, luggage, school supplies, clothes, shoes, BabyPod transport device, GoSun Coolers… It all happens because you gave something… and for that we will always be grateful. And we will say it again… We are just getting started!

Operation Backpack4Kids awarded 501.c.3 status!

Big…HUGE…News!!!

Operation BackPack4Kids has been awarded 501.c.3 status by the IRS! Being such a significant moment, there is much more to say. Stay tuned for a dedicated blogpost in the next few days!

July and August 2022 Update:

What’s new you ask… how about:

  • 3,517 backpacks delivered
  • €130,000 in critical medications delivered in our donated temperature controlled coolers
  • 20 infant transports made with the BabyPod
  • 402 backpacks delivered to refugee children in Poland last week
  • Over 3,000 hours of volunteer service given by our pilot group
BP4K organizational development:

Our official IRS 501(c)3 status journey has been a long and hard road to walk at times, but your money, donations, and time have paid off 10 fold. Like any organization of volunteers, people get tired and weary. Our team is no different. But we see the faces of the children we are helping and we find the energy to keep going. Our nonprofit is now in regular communications with other NGO’s in Europe, all working together when and where they can to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.

The Cologne Refugee Center:

The refugee center by the train station (called Breslauer Platz) is now under the control of the JohanniterGroup. This nonprofit organization is similar to the Salvation Army, but they have a focus and expertise in healthcare.

Rene Berg is the project manager and he and our staff have worked out an agreement to provide 20-30 backpacks per week to the refugee center. His staff is now responsible for transporting the bags from the Marriott.

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Rene outside the Hauptobanhof refugee center, July 2022
Thank you!

BP4K wants to personally thank one of our families for coming over to Germany and giving up 3 weeks of their summer to work on the backpack program. We had a wonderful time, and shipped out 402 backpacks to Poland last weekend.

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Cassandra is returning!!!

Cassandra will soon be back in Cologne to run the show. We will do one more big build to close out the summer and hopefully put us over 4,000 backpacks delivered.

What the future holds:

It’s difficult to comprehended Fall is around the corner. If the Ukraine struggle continues, the weather will bring a entirely new set of challenges for the children we support. Our focus will remain on helping displaced children through the challenges they face, when and where we can. We have a dedicated team of leaders and volunteers who will guide us through the next chapter of our work. We know that our efforts have paid off, the photos prove it.

Thank you to everyone who has given time, money, material goods. Without you, our work would have ended months ago.

It’s never too late to get involved…. Click here to help the refugee children 

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BP4K Donation Match, Looking to the Future, and an Update from Kyiv

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Alexander Lashyn Handing out BP4K backpacks in Kyiv, Ukraine
BP4K $20,000 Donation drive a success!

On Monday, June 13th, 2022, BP4K received a donation that brought our $20,000 donation matching opportunity to the finish line. Thank you all for your support. We continue to accept donations that fund not only our Ukraine operations but expansion to other areas around the globe where our organization is needed.

Special Update from Kyiv, Ukraine

Children come in all shapes and sizes. They come from wealthy families and poor ones as well. Some are healthy and can run all day long while others cannot even walk. But the bottom line is a child is still a child. They all have feelings and they can all observe their surroundings. The leadership group at OB4K believe that all children deserve protection and love.

The situation in Ukraine has not spared any segment of the population, and children have suffered immensely over the past 3 months. Operation BackPack4Kids was started for one purpose… to help ease the trauma and suffering of these children by providing them a backpack from Americans to show them they are loved. Last week our NGO partners handed out the last 36 bags we had shipped from America along with 25 we made in Cologne. They were delivered to a special needs home/school in Kyiv. Look closely at the photos.

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We are so often asked, how are you doing this? And to be completely honest, at times like this, we don’t really have an answer. The backpacks you supplied where handed over to our NGO partner ‘Alexander Lashyn Charity Foundation’. From there we could only trust that our vetting process would work. And it did, it did in ways we never thought possible. Call it what you want, karma, luck, blessing from above. But we know one thing is absolutely 100% correct and real… it all started when you opened your hearts, wallets, and time so it could happen.

The real hero’s in this story? Alexander Lashyn, a Ukrainian weightlifter, and you!

~From the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees…

Thank you to everyone who has helped us make this operation a complete success. 

BP4K has delivered over 700 backpacks in Ukraine


700+ Backpacks

If there was a Guinness book of world records for nonprofits, Operation BackPack4Kids would hold a few! Against the odds, your small Mom & Pop outfit has now delivered over 700 backpacks to children INSIDE the Ukraine. Every single day, 24 hours a day, someone, somewhere is working on this project. It is impossible to document every single backpack, but here are just a few of the latest photos from a small village named “Balshaya Novoselka”, near the Donetsk Region

Balshaya Novoselka, Ukraine

Last weekend our NGO partner, the OLEKSANDR LASHYN CHARITY FOUNDATION, delivered an array of humanitarian goods to this village. 30 BP4K backpacks made it to these children. According to Pietro who was there, once the word got out that Americans had sent gifts to the children, they came running from all corners of the village. We have worked tirelessly to connect with NGO groups that are “doing” and not just “talking”. To that end, we have vetted our partners and the photos prove it. We are making a difference, and we are bringing a small piece of joy to children who have suffered so much these past few months.

Photo Gallery:
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A recovering 10 year old girl…

This grandfather got a backpack for his granddaughter, a 10 year little girl who was injured in a bombing in Donetsk. Her mother was badly wounded and is still fighting for her life in a hospital, but the little girl was transferred to her grandparents home where she is recovering. See pic below.

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Update on Kateryna

Good news to share: Click here to catch up with Kateryna’s story, the woman who came in to the refugee center and collapsed due to exhaustion last month.

Only 1 week remains for our $20,000 donation match!!

A refugee (student) at a school near Krakow, Poland receives his BP4K backpack.

BP4K’s $20,000 donation drive is 1 week away from wrapping up. To date we are a little over half way to our goal. Click here to donate now.

BP4K at work in Cologne:

May 19th, 2022:

Jackie and I [Bill V.] made 100 backpacks today, 100 candy bags, and 80 hygiene kits. We had a good productive day. We both were looking fwd to a relaxing evening. But…

Leaving the train station, after restocking for the night, Emile came to me in tears…. “What’s wrong?!?” I said.

Bill, this young mother just showed up, her husband was killed 4 days ago in Ukraine, she is looking for a friend who might be in Köln. Her phone doesn’t work, she has no money, and the baby is wrapped in a blanket. Nothing else…

That’s the mom and the baby, still wrapped up in a blanket… But don’t worry, she has clothes now 🙂 – another BP4K small act with a BIG impact.

BP4K given a $20,000 Matching Donation


This little angel received a backpack from us, please help others like her. Spread the word, get it out there, and lets turn 20 into 40!

Big…HUGE…News!!!

Operation BackPack4Kids has been awarded 501.c.3 status by the IRS! Being such a significant moment, there is much more to say. Stay tuned for a dedicated blogpost in the next few days!

July and August 2022 Update:

What’s new you ask… how about:

  • 3,517 backpacks delivered
  • €130,000 in critical medications delivered in our donated temperature controlled coolers
  • 20 infant transports made with the BabyPod
  • 402 backpacks delivered to refugee children in Poland last week
  • Over 3,000 hours of volunteer service given by our pilot group
BP4K organizational development:

Our official IRS 501(c)3 status journey has been a long and hard road to walk at times, but your money, donations, and time have paid off 10 fold. Like any organization of volunteers, people get tired and weary. Our team is no different. But we see the faces of the children we are helping and we find the energy to keep going. Our nonprofit is now in regular communications with other NGO’s in Europe, all working together when and where they can to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.

The Cologne Refugee Center:

The refugee center by the train station (called Breslauer Platz) is now under the control of the JohanniterGroup. This nonprofit organization is similar to the Salvation Army, but they have a focus and expertise in healthcare.

Rene Berg is the project manager and he and our staff have worked out an agreement to provide 20-30 backpacks per week to the refugee center. His staff is now responsible for transporting the bags from the Marriott.

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Rene outside the Hauptobanhof refugee center, July 2022
Thank you!

BP4K wants to personally thank one of our families for coming over to Germany and giving up 3 weeks of their summer to work on the backpack program. We had a wonderful time, and shipped out 402 backpacks to Poland last weekend.

7096ag2voyuz.jpeg
Cassandra is returning!!!

Cassandra will soon be back in Cologne to run the show. We will do one more big build to close out the summer and hopefully put us over 4,000 backpacks delivered.

What the future holds:

It’s difficult to comprehended Fall is around the corner. If the Ukraine struggle continues, the weather will bring a entirely new set of challenges for the children we support. Our focus will remain on helping displaced children through the challenges they face, when and where we can. We have a dedicated team of leaders and volunteers who will guide us through the next chapter of our work. We know that our efforts have paid off, the photos prove it.

Thank you to everyone who has given time, money, material goods. Without you, our work would have ended months ago.

It’s never too late to get involved…. Click here to help the refugee children 

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Our 1,000th Backpack…

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Alicia and Olja
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.

Backpack 1,000

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

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.

Alicia

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…

Alicia about to recieve Backpack # 1,000 from Olja.
More Backpacks

[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.

Thank you!

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.