Backpacks from the heart

Last summer, Beverly Woods student Barbara Helen Moye formulated a plan and collected 45 backpacks for children who didn’t have the luxury of shopping for back-to-school supplies like she did. This year, she’s set her sights on something even bigger.

(Above) Beverly Woods Barbara Helen Maye collected 45 backpacks for students at Sterling Elementary School last year.

(Above) Beverly Woods Barbara Helen Maye collected 45 backpacks for students at Sterling Elementary School last year.

Now 10 years old and soon to enter fifth grade at Beverly Woods, Barbara Helen wants to collect at least 100 new or gently used backpacks – one for every new kindergartner entering Sterling Elementary, she said.

“Every kid should have a book bag for all their notes and books,” she said.

It all started in second grade when a teacher told Barbara Helen’s class that many students didn’t have backpacks and had to use plastic bags instead. But Barbara Helen didn’t realize she could make a difference until talking to her mother, Ashley Moye, who showed her newspaper articles about other people helping their communities.

“She said those people are really good people, and I wanted to be just like them and help people,” Barbara Helen said.

With her mom’s help, she decided to help students at Sterling Elementary, the Title I sister school to Beverly Woods.

This year, the donation drive is going stronger than ever, with the news spreading via word of mouth.

“I tell my friends, like at the pool, and I tell their parents, and they tell their friends,” Barbara Helen said.

Barbara Helen recently joined Girl Scout Troop 2147, where new friends also are helping out with her cause.

Last year, the Moyes collected donations at their Shannon Hills home. This year, the drive is expanding further with a donation box set up in Alphabet Soup, a monogramming boutique located in the SouthPark area on Colony Road.

Barbara Helen is excited about this addition to her backpack collection and looks forward to decorating the donation box with one of her friends, Jessica Saunders.

“We might draw some book bags and stars and stuff, you know,” she said.

She and her friends plan to stay at Alphabet Soup to explain their goal and to encourage donations. As for how many backpacks there are so far, Barbara Helen said she has “a lot” but hasn’t counted yet.

Barbara Helen’s father, Simon Moye, is proud that his daughter has continued her drive with an increased goal, adding the responsibility is a sure sign that Barbara Helen is growing up. He’s proud she realizes not everybody has what she has, he said.

Although he and Ashley have raised their daughter to be courteous, Simon Moye said Barbara Helen has developed a giving spirit on her own.

“In situations like this, it’s always nice to help somebody. And when you help somebody, you feel better about it, too. It’s kind of a win-win,” he said.

Barbara Helen agrees. She sees herself continuing to help others in the future and is considering expanding her drive to include all school supplies.

“I just like to help other kids. I just think it makes the world better,” she said.

Want to donate?

New or gently used backpacks can be dropped off at Alphabet Soup at 3900 Colony Road, suite B in the SouthPark area. For more information about the backpack drive or how to help, email Ashley Moye at spmoye@aol.com.

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