Our aim is to fund two vehicles enabling us to reach our growing donor base around the UK, without using money pledged for SchoolBags. Can you help?
10 years ago on December 26th, two brothers, Luke and Piers Simon, along with three friends, were on holiday on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi. At 10.36am, the devastating tsunami struck the island and in the wake of the tragedy, a five day search confirmed that Piers sadly lost his life.
The Simon family set up the Piers Simon Appeal to raise money for the people of Thailand who helped search for Piers, and in May 2005, the Piers Simon Appeal gained charitable status with the mission of supporting victims of disaster around the world.
In 2009, School in a Bag was born and it has now become the core focus of Piers' charity. This initiative delivers rucksacks filled with stationery and eating utensils to disadvantaged children around the world and to date, School in a Bag have distributed over 48,500 SchoolBags to children in 22 countries. The charity maintains a close liaison with its donors, and wherever possible, works hard to give them the opportunity to pack the SchoolBags they have funded.
Each SchoolBag distributed is numbered, enabling donors to know their SchoolBag ID which they can then track on our website (www.schoolinabag.org) to see where and when they have been sent, and who the beneficiaries are.
Now five years old, School in a Bag is really beginning to grow thanks to a rapidly expanding growth of donor support spanning the whole of the UK. Our small team of three (Luke, Charlotte and Zoë) depend on our own vehicles to travel the country spreading the word, packing the SchoolBags funded by donors and running fundraising events. This isn't an effective way of working due to not having efficient transport for all needs, and can at times be detrimental to the way the charity runs, having to hire vans, cars and minibuses.
As we run the charity, we each have different needs to carry out our work which means that one vehicle doesn't cover all of them, plus often more than one of us is out presenting or doing a SchoolBag pack at the same time. We're being realistic with the amount a small charity like ours can raise so are initially aiming for £5,000 for one vehicle, but our pipe dream is to try and raise £28,000 for two vehicles. With two: a large van for fundraising events and bigger SchoolBag packs and a small van for presentations, bank runs and the like, it would help with an even smoother growth. They will also allow for School in a Bag branding to go on them so they're used almost as big advertising boards, and so that high costs aren't spent on hiring different vehicles for different needs.
We don't want to use donors' money who think they're funding SchoolBags, but instead use the opportunity to engage with a new audience for a different purpose, that in the end has the same result - giving hope to a child's future. Businesses and individuals who come onboard with £500 or more in sponsorship will go on a special panel of thanks on both vehicles as a thank you from us, as well as being added to this page for all to see your generosity.
We work tirelessly so that children with nothing can be given a chance in life and we hope that you feel this is important too, and understand that we need help to make our work go further.
If you feel you would like to help, as a corporate or as an individual, please pledge now so we can reach our goal. If you'd like to see more of the work we do, please visit our website: www.schoolinabag.org. or get in contact with us to chat through things further: [email protected]
(If you're pledging an amount that includes Home Farm Fest tickets, here's more information about the festival: Home Farm Fest 10)