THS students helping hungry kids

Students in Katie Mantel's marketing class recently produced a marketing campaign for the Backpack Buddies program. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Students in Katie Mantel’s marketing class recently produced a marketing campaign for the Backpack Buddies program. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Thompson High School marketing teacher Katie Mantel was pleasantly surprised after seeing her students’ presentations to the school’s principal and representatives from the Backpack Buddies organization on April 15.

“I knew some of the groups hadn’t had enough time to get everything completely finished, but you couldn’t tell. They all did a really good job,” Mantel said after five groups of students presented their plans to market Backpack Buddies.

Over the past several weeks, Mantel’s students have been working to build marketing plans for Backpack Buddies, which provides meals and snacks for local students who otherwise may go hungry.

Through the project, each group of students came up with fundraising ideas and produced videos and slideshows to showcase on Backpack Buddies’ Youcaring.com fundraising site.

The Youcaring.com site allows locals to donate to Backpack Buddies to support the organization’s programs in Alabaster’s schools.

“All money that is raised through the site will go back into Alabaster schools,” said Backpack Buddies Program Director Stephanie Grissom. “Twenty-five thousand dollars will fund Alabaster for a year.”

During their presentations on April 15, the THS students showcased their videos – one of which currently is posted on the Youcaring.com site – and pitched fundraising ideas ranging from selling T-shirts to holding afterschool movie nights.

Many of the ideas will be used over the next several weeks to help the Backpack Buddies Youcaring.com campaign to reach its initial $5,000 goal. To donate to the THS marketing students’ Backpack Buddies program, visit Youcaring.com/nonprofits/help-ths-students-put-an-end-to-hunger-in-their-community/158611.

“Everyone wants to give to something,” Mantel said. “If you can give to your community, it’s a lot more meaningful.”