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Fill 11,000 Backpacks for Disadvantaged Children

Fill 11,000 Backpacks for Disadvantaged Children

Tom Fennessy & Mike Harden Back-to-School Project

Date: August 8 | Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Venue: NSG/Pilkington North America

3340 Centerpoint Dr.
Urbancrest, OH 43123

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In 1998, a group of people thought it would be a good idea to buy backpacks and school supplies for children living in local homeless shelters. They contacted Mike Harden, a long-time columnist for The Columbus Dispatch, to help them by writing an article to raise money to fund the project. He agreed if they would name the project after his close friend and former columnist for The Columbus Dispatch, Tom Fennessy.

Tom Fennessy and Mike Harden were both very enthusiastic advocates for the underprivileged. Because of them, this project has grown from helping 365 children in 1998 to helping over 11,000 children last year. The Tom Fennessy/Mike Harden Back-to-School Project is dedicated to helping those in need by providing school supplies to children who otherwise might not be able to afford them. The project would not be successful if it wasn't for all of our contributors and volunteers who give their time to this wonderful endeavor.

Join Besa and the Tom Fennessy & Mike Harden Back-to-School Project to fill backpacks with supplies and help ensure children have the items they need to succeed.


The Tom Fennessy & Mike Harden Back-to-School Project will provide hand sanitizer and face masks to those who do not have their own. We'll also practice social distancing. All volunteers must have a no-contact temperature check at the entrance to the facility. If you have your own gloves, face mask and/or hand sanitizer please feel free to bring it/use your own. 


The health and safety of volunteers is a priority. If you are sick, over the age of 50, or have a chronic health condition, it is in your best interest to stay home. Click here for more information about COVID-19

  • 14 is the minimum age required and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Closed-toe shoes are required.

  • The warehouse does not have a/c so it can get pretty warm during summer months. We would recommend wearing short sleeves and shorts.
  • Parking is available on-site.
  • This event is ADA accessible. 
  • Court-appointed volunteering: At this time, we can not accept court-appointed requests.

    Click here for more information about Tom Fennessy & Mike Harden and the amazing work they do.