CRANFORD, NJ - Students of Cranford High School’s Cranford High Assistance Program (CHAPs) have been hosting bake sales to raise money for the organization Backpacks for Life.

Under the leadership of students Maggie Roman and Andrew Rojo, CHAPs raised nearly $200 to buy supplies to fill the backpacks. Donations were also received from the Cranford Merchants.

The students organized a "packing event" to pack the backpacks full of the supplies they purchased, a total of 120 backpacks were filled.

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“It was really fulfilling to see all of the bags that we packed lined up in the hallway to give back to the brave people who put their lives on the line to protect and serve our country. CHAPs will continue to support Backpacks for Life in the future and I look forward to organizing more opportunities to pack more bags” said Roman, an eleventh-grader.

The founder of Backpacks for Life Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro, a veteran himself, has led his organization onto the 2016 Top Rated List of Great Nonprofits, and has been nominated for the Eagles Rare Life Award where Backpacks for Life has the chance to win up to $50,000.

Backpacks for Life is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization that raises money for homeless veterans, and provides them with backpacks full of everyday essentials such as hand warmers, socks, first aid kits, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Also within these backpacks are pamphlets and brochures for doctor offices, available jobs for veterans, and other services and resources to help them get back on track.

Anna Kalafatis is a student-writer for TAPinto Cranford through the junior internship program at Cranford High School.