Nearly 700 backpacks delivered to homeless

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Nearly 700 backpacks were delivered to members of the homeless community in Fort Wayne on Friday.

Between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Backpacks of Hope, a Fort Wayne organization that works to end poverty, distributed the backpacks along with gently use clothing to the homeless at the Rescue Mission. 2016 marks the fifth year for the Backpacks of Hope distribution at The Rescue Mission, made possible through the support of many private donors, churches and businesses, including Kelley Automotive Group.

According to a press release from Backpacks of Hope, backpacks contain essential items like hats, gloves, socks, blankets, hygiene items, and nonperishable food items. Specially prepared backpacks were also available.

Backpacks of Hope was founded by Shelley Septer, mother of the late John “Zachery” Septer, who passed away in December 2011.

Septer said her son did not know a stranger and that he cared deeply for people, treating everyone with respect and dignity. He spent a lot of his time with the homeless in the community and she started the Backpacks of Hope to carry on his legacy.

“We have been blessed with the outpouring of the community,” Septer said in a press release. “The backpacks have also been a huge part of the healing process for myself, my children, family, and friends. Zach’s heart lives on within all of us. We are blessed to be able to serve and give a hand-up to the people who are in need of help.”

For more information and to find out how you can help visit Backpacks of Hope.