Semester Goal: 500 backpacks. Currently: 56
On Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend in 2018, a 10-year old girl sat looking at all the backpacks that were lined up in the hallway, packed for day of fun with Disney. She and her two sisters always carried food into theme parks, but this day she looked extremely perplexed. Pursing her lips, she mustered up the question that had been running through her mind “Daddy, what happens to my school friends with their special backpacks over summer?” Caught a little off-guard, her dad responded like any other father treading a day 16 hour day in an Orlando theme park “What, what are you talking about, Mandi Rose?”.
Mandi looked up and explained further, “Daddy, I have friends that go home every weekend with special backpacks full of food for the weekend. But happens to them over the Summer, there is no school for them to get the special backpacks?”
The ensuing conversation led to a deep conversation of the Feeding America program and the local Second Harvest Food Bank. Wanting to help her friends and others, Mandi wanted to make something that she could sale and donate the proceeds to help buy backpacks of food for her friends and other school kids that face hunger issues.
Throughout the day of walking around theme parks and enjoying rides, Mandi, her older sister Abbie (11) and younger sister Austyn (8) decided they would turn their hobby into a business. For years, they had made candles and lotions for friends and families and small class fundraisers. They agreed to call the company Candle 4 Kids.
They set-up meetings with a local candle wax manufacturer and other vendors to get the business seed funded and production started.
It costs about $4 to buy a backpack of food for a child for a weekend. For every two candles sold, regardless if it a school fundraiser or retail purchase, money goes to the Feeding America affiliate where the candles were purchased, so you are helping to support the kids in your own community.
Thus, this story and venture has been born, thank you for being part of three girls’ dream to help their school friends and children not spend a signal day hungry.