Giving Back with Backpacks

Houston Law Firm Helps Kids Get on Track With ‘Back-pack to School

Article by Amanda Thomas

Photography by Courtesy of Attorney Brian White

Originally published in River Oaks Lifestyle

Growing up in a low-income household isn’t easy ⁠— especially for families with children who are getting ready to head back to school.

Many kids worry about having the latest fashion trends or fitting in with their peers. But for children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, these concerns are often overshadowed by more pressing worries, like whether they’ll have enough food to eat or a clean pair of clothes to wear to school.

For Houston attorney Brian White, this scenario hits close to home. Brian grew up in a low-income household and knows firsthand the difficulties these families face.

And having worked with clients at his law firm who are struggling financially, he is in a unique position to understand what many low-income families in Houston are dealing with. 

That’s why he wants to help alleviate some of the burdens these families face and remove the barriers that make it hard for kids to focus and do their best work in class. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, children who don’t have their basic needs met are at a greater risk for poor academic achievement.

“Inflation is at its all-time low right now,” Brian says. “Basic needs like eggs and even milk prices are rising. Most of our clientele are blue-collared workers and low-income families. Because of the trust they put in us, we are happy to give back.”

To help students get on track for a successful school year, the legal team at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers hosted their first Backpack to School charity event to provide supplies to a deserving local elementary school. 

The idea to host the event came while Brian was on a work trip. He learned about “The Backpack Project,” a nonprofit organization that has donated over 250,000 backpacks to elementary schools in the past five years. 

The nonprofit’s work inspired him to start a similar program in Houston. So, with the help of his team, he organized the Back-pack to School event. 

On Aug. 6, the firm donated 500 backpacks containing school supplies, hygienic products and other necessities to Ketelsen Elementary in Houston, which was enough to provide a backpack for every student. Ketelsen Elementary was selected as the recipient of the donations based on its lack of crucial resources, including money for educational trips (the school can only afford to provide one field trip per year). 

Not only that, but many students report that their only meal of the day is their school lunch. So, in addition to the backpack donation, the firm hosted a food and clothes drive, raising nearly $2,000 and donating 100% of the proceeds to the school for more field trips, food, uniforms and other supplies.

“I wanted to provide all the necessities these students need in order to have a successful school year,” Brian says. “We were able to provide school supplies by school grade, school uniforms and expense every student’s field trip this year.”

The Backpack to School event featured live music, dancing, games, face painting and Texas BBQ. 

“Our marketing director, Alexa Nguyen, has been so excited to put this event together with me,” Brian says. “From the very small details to the crowd pleasers, this was so much fun to put together from start to finish. I was telling Alexa that the smiles on those children’s faces were totally worth it!”

With the help of local charitable organizations, Brian and his team were able to make a lasting impact on the lives of these students by providing them with the supplies they needed to succeed. Events like these make Brian grateful for the opportunity to use his law firm as a platform to help those in need.

“We are dedicated to making this event an annual event,” Brian says. “We think next year, instead of picking one school, we may make it a community backpack giveaway so we can give to many more students and families.”

The firm also actively supports other local charities and nonprofits by donating a large portion of its annual profits to organizations committed to causes ranging from medical research and pet care to arts and literature. 

These organizations include the: 

  • Lupus Foundation of America (Texas Gulf Coast Chapter)

  • National Black Book Festival

  • Forgotten Pet Advocates

  • Pearl Theater

If you’d like to learn more or to find out how you can get involved in their future charitable events, contact Alexa Nguyen at alexanguyenn@attorneybrianwhite.com or visit www.attorneybrianwhite.com.

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