‘Backpack Project’ provides winter survival kits to hundreds struggling with homelessness


MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – A group here hopes to help hundreds prepare for winter. Thursday, PNC mortgage employees helped load close to 1,400 backpacks full of winter items and personal supplies to donate to Dayton homeless shelter Homefull.

“It really is a community coming together to help those in need,” said Homefull Chief Development Officer John Patterson.

Patterson said on any given day, Homefull serves an average of 600 current and previously homeless individuals find temporary or permanent housing. About 300 stay in the organization’s emergency shelters each night.

Since 2009, teams from PNC’s Miamisburg buildings have collected close to 8,200 backpacks. The Backpack Project starts in January each year and goes until November, with locations competing to see who can donate the most packs.

Employees fill each bag with winter hats and mittens, hygiene items and other personal supplies. Some branches donate handmade items or include personalized messages.

PNC Regional President David Melin said, “It’s a great example of helping those that are less fortunate. We can, through our own team and our own personal resources, give back to the community that means so much to us.”

Homefull said the gifts provide its clients with a small sense of normalcy while many of their lives are upended by homelessness.

“This helps us out tremendously,” said Patterson. “The clients that get these — it puts a smile on their face at a time that can be depressing and kind of a difficult time.”

If you’d like to contribute to Homefull’s mission or learn more about the organization, you can go here or give the administrative office a call at (937) 293-1945.

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