Real estate offices collecting new backpacks for children in need

The Mullica Hill Berkshire Hathaway-Fox and Roach offices on North Main Street and on Bridgeton Pike are collecting new backpacks and school supplies for the 2019 Backpack Challenge for children throughout South Jersey until July 26. (Krystal Nurse/The Sun).

As the beginning of the school year approaches, a real estate company is looking to collect new backpacks and school supplies for children so no child goes to school empty-handed.

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach offices in South Jersey are participating in the company’s annual Backpack Challenge until July 26. People can purchase backpacks and school supplies for children up to 12 years old and drop them off at local offices.

The offices are in Cherry Hill, two in Mullica Hill, Moorestown, Medford, Marlton and in Washington Township.

Those who cannot deliver the backpacks to the offices can coordinate a pickup by calling the offices’ phone numbers.

“We started it in 2006 with the Trident Charities Group and collected over 32,000 backpacks and school supplies for low-income children in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Kristine Vogler of the Mullica Hill office. “It’s a partnership with the Cradles to Crayons charity.”

At the end of the drive, Vogler said associates will get together to deliver the collections to the charity, and the charity will distribute the backpacks, filled with school supplies, to the area.

“The backpacks that are collected in each state, go back to the state they originated in,” Vogler added.

She added the donations help the students start their school years with “confidence and pride” with school supplies.

The Mullica Hill office has collected 100 backpacks from the associates themselves, and is seeking to surpass its goal of 150 donations with the help of the public.

If people aren’t able to donate backpacks or school supplies, Vogler said people can donate original greeting cards for kids to provide support and encouragement to them during the school year.

“With regard to the community involvement, we created a Facebook event, which gets the word out, and our sales associates tell their clients who are buying homes about this as well in trying to engage with the public,” said Vogler.

Vogler added the offices are familiar with philanthropy by selecting a date in October to close the office a day to give back to the Mullica Hill community. Last year, she said the associates collected canned food and delivered it to a food bank.

“We chose to collect food leading up to that day, and then the offices were closed and everyone went to the food bank to donate the food and help sort the items,” she added.

She said other offices have made care bags for cancer patients in the past and a majority of what they do comes from the company’s charity division, Trident Charities.

“People donate in all sorts of ways to things they’re involved in,” she said. “Whether it’s through a church group, schools or animal shelters – it’s all different things they believe in and want to contribute to.”

To learn more about the backpack challenge, or to make a monetary donation, visit www.FoxandRoachCharities.com/2019-Backpack-Challenge.

“I love seeing the agents get excited about donating,” Vogler added. “It’s a great way to stay in contact with people. When these donations are coming in, you get excited to see it happen and knowing where it’s going to and that it’s helping children.”