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Friends of NTI Group Assembles 300 Backpacks for Homeless Veterans

Friends of NTI is the parent-run not-for-profit group that supports North Tonawanda Intermediate School. Our goal is to support the intermediate school and enhance the lives of not only our students and their families, but the surrounding community.

At one of our first Friends of NTI meetings of the year, we talked about doing some type of community service project. Keri Hearing suggested we collect items for homeless veterans right here in WNY. Everyone loved the idea and that is how 10 Days of Giving was born.

We are extremely proud of our 10 Days of Giving community service project! We had participation from hundreds of people. Our school has 36 classrooms and is made up of over 730 students and everyone participated in some way! Many of our families donated items to fill backpacks and some families even donated completed backpacks. Even families that could not donate items still got the word out for us and helped us to collect a ton of stuff. We even got donations from families that did not attend our school, but found out what we were doing and just wanted to help! One of the things we wanted to add to our care packages was a personal note or thank you card. Many of the teachers asked their students to create cards and notes in class and some families even sent some in from home. The result was hundreds of personal notes and messages going out to our very deserving homeless veterans. The love and support in this community is second to none!

On Friday, Nov. 16, with the help of many volunteers, we assembled 300 backpacks for homeless veterans. We partnered with WNY Heroes to distribute the backpacks for us, as they knew who needed them. In addition to the backpacks filled with essentials, we also collected several sleeping bags and blankets that also went to our local homeless veterans.

Students and teachers with backpacks

Group of students and teachers


Space to set up backpacks

Volunteers setting up backpacks

Volunteers packing backpacks

Teachers with packed backpacks