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State Honoree

Joshua Marcus

Florida

created “Sack It To You,” a non-profit corporation that has provided backpacks filled with school supplies to more than 2,500 needy children. Inspired by a visit to a local child care center for disadvantaged children, Joshua asked staff members what the children needed most. They replied backpacks and basic school supplies, the kinds of things he’d taken for granted his entire life. “Something happened inside of me at that very moment,” said Joshua. “I knew it was my duty to help these children.” He used his computer skills to design stationery, business cards and a logo for “Sack It To You.” He wrote letters to backpack manufacturers, but got little response. Unwilling to give up, Joshua solicited every store in his community that sold backpacks and school supplies. His initial efforts raised more than $2,600 and a big donation of school supplies from Office Depot -- enough to outfit every youngster at the child care center, plus kids at two other centers as well. Since then, many other organizations have asked for Joshua’s help, and he has responded by raising money – now totaling $20,000 – and even digging into his own bar mitzvah money to buy backpacks. He has now filled more than 2,500 requests from over 25 agencies that serve disadvantaged children, and is currently working with Office Depot to expand his program to other communities. “When I see the smiles on the children’s faces, it is a very good feeling,” he said. “I know that I am making a difference in their lives.”