Mike Morse, the man behind the law firm of the same name, recently began a mission to make sure that children in his home town were not going without.
In order to ensure that children in the city of Detroit had the best start to life, his law firm initiated a program that saw 23,000 school children provided with fully stocked backpacks.
For children who would otherwise receive second hand supplies, or none at all, this was a huge boost to their confidence, as well as providing the means through which they could begin the school year as equals.
“I think it teaches them that there are people out there in the community that care about them,” Morse said in a video released by the law firm. “They want them to succeed, that want them to win at life.”
The initiative began as a trial in May whereby Morse’s law firm provided 400 backpacks to students in kindergarten through to year five at Wayne Elementary School, according to local news reporters.
After the initial trial, the success was so instant that Morse began on the path to providing every child in the district with the supplies they need to begin the year right.
“I thought, ‘Let’s do this in a bigger way. Let’s find out how many kids there are in the Detroit Public School system, K through 5 range,'” Morse told local news. “We found out there was 23,000 of them and my firm said, let’s do this!”
In order to achieve this huge goal, the law firm partnered up with nonprofit Kids In Need Foundation, that provides students with free school supplies. This collaboration meant that each backpack, valued at around $20(US) was able to be filled to the brim with pencils, markers, geometry sets, erasers, crayons and notebooks – everything the children would need for their schooling year.
“If they don’t have those basic things, sometimes that impedes their ability to concentrate in school and to be successful,” said Marcus Davenport, principal of Edison Elementary – one of the 65 schools that were part of the program.
“The supplies that were given to us today has levelled the playing field [for students],” said Karen Russell, a teacher at Edison Elementary. “They feel like they’re part of the team.”
The program will continue the backpack fund for the 2016-17 school year and has begun a crowdfunding program to ensure that all children will have access to the learning resources they need in the future.