Toronto: The NAGs Players Support Blessings in a Backpack

The NAGs Players announce their winter pantomime:

“Rumpelstiltskin” by Peter Bond

Adapted by Lina Minniti and Ginty Burns
Rumpelstiltskin e-copy
Toronto, ON, January 2, 2017: Continuing in the tradition of English pantomimes, the NAGs Players are pleased to present Rumpelstiltskin on the Main Stage at the Tranzac Club. The social climbing Wally & Wendy Miller “sell out” their daughter Hermione to a rather dimwitted King with the promise that she can solve his financial troubles by spinning straw into gold. At the same time, the evil witch Wisteria enlists her son Rumpelstiltskin to help her obtain both a new pet and a baby, inextricably—or perhaps inexplicably—linking him with Hermione’s fate. It’s a merry romp with good and evil, song and dance, bad jokes, and a couple of literary cats.

The play runs February 2 to 4 and February 9 to 11 at 7:30 PM, with Saturday matinées on February 4 and 11 at 1:30 PM. The Tranzac Main Stage is located at 292 Brunswick Avenue in Toronto.

Net proceeds from the Saturday children’s matinées will be donated to Blessings in a Backpack (

About The NAGs Players

The NAGs Players ( are a community theatre group who have been producing three shows a year (always including a traditional British pantomime) at the Tranzac Stage since 1976.

Contact: David Eady

The NAGs Players

Phone 416-580-8724



Regina Rosen Food First Fund Supports Blessings Kingston

The Community Foundation for Kingston & Area and the Regina Rosen Food First Fund (RR FFF) have generously donated a grant to support Blessing in a Backpack’s school programs in the Kingston area. Thank-you so very much to RR FFF for your generosity in ensuring that the kids of Kingston have a successful and healthy school year in which no child in Kingston goes hungry! For more information on RR FFF and the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, check out their website:


Rotary Club Honours Paul Elsley

Some well deserved recognition for one of our amazing volunteers: The Rotary Club of Kingston awarded Paul Elsley the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his strong contribution and commitment to the community. Paul does fantastic work running the Blessings in a Backpack program in Kingston. Congratulations!


Click here to read the full article


Backpacks 4 Brainiacs

Are you ready to go back to school?

It’s time to brush up on your history, geography and entertainment because we are hosting an “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” themed trivia night in support of Blessings in a Backpack.

When: Monday, November 23rd at 7pm
Where: Touché Restaurant and Bar, 669 College St
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10.00 (cash only).

Have a fun night and support a great cause. Hope you can make it out!
backpacks 4 brainiacs


Neal Dick Breakfast Supports Blessings Kingston

NealDickBreakfastOn Saturday, June 13, 2015, at Rideau Acres Campground just north of Kingston, Ontario, friends and family gathered to remember an outstanding Rotarian and humanitarian, Neal Dick. It was the 1st annual breakfast in his honour with over 300 people in attendance.

The event was co-hosted by the Rural Committee of the Rotary Club of Kingston and Neal’s family who continue to operate the campground and dining hall. For a small fee, attendees were treated to a hearty breakfast and an opportunity to share stories about this fine man. Neal gave so much of himself to our community and his passion for the less fortunate among us knew no bounds.

All proceeds from the event were donated – half to the Rotary Club of Kingston of which Neal was a member for many years and half to Blessings in a Backpack – Kingston Chapter as selected by the Rural Committee. These funds ($1,100) will be used to aid in program expansion in the north end of Kingston this fall.

It was an honour for BIAB to be associated with the event and we look forward to continuing the partnership in the coming years. There is no doubt that it would have brought a smile to Neal’s face knowing that he will continue to serve many young people in need in this way!

NealDick1  NealDick2


Millicare Month of Care in Support of BIAB



Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria G-C

Looking Back
By: Linda Goytan

VirtueStanding in the foyer, at San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Elementary School (SLR) in Mississauga, I enjoy looking around and thinking of all the wonderful memories. I smile as my eyes focus on a very special mirror on the wall. It questions all who look at it with “Can you see yourself in the virtues?” From the Blessings in a Backpack perspective, one can definitely say…yes!

All of the past and present team leaders and backpack donors should be proud of everything that has been achieved over the years. Together we succeeded! Thank you for your enthusiasm and determination to keep up with the tradition of collecting backpacks for Blessings. By thinking of others and giving generously, you have all shown your commitment to community service for the benefit of those in need. What a wonderful learning experience!

May the virtues of empathy, faith, courage, love, hope and the joy of success continue to empower and guide all of you with your future endeavours. May you always make a difference wherever life should lead you. Keep on trailblazing!

Memories Made to Last
By: Victoria G-C

SLRWhen I think back over the years, I count my blessings and am thankful for all the great memories. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to continue the tradition of collecting backpacks for the Blessings in a Backpack program. My involvement with Blessings began seven years ago when I donated some backpacks to the backpack collection drive that was then organized by Angela McLean at our school San Lorenzo Ruiz. I thought that this was a worthy cause to donate to and I continued to do so every year after that. Then, when it was time for Angela to graduate from Grade 8 she approached me to ask me if I would continue with the yearly collection drive at the school. I agreed and that was when Angela officially passed the baton of organizing over to me.

In the fall of 2011, just as I was starting Grade 5, I began organizing my first backpack donation drive at SLR. And, have continued to do so for the past four years. During this 2014-2015 school year, many announcements and posters were made for our 7th annual Blessings in a Backpack donation drive held from October 1st to October 24th, 2014. As a result, a total of 74 backpacks were donated and there were two lucky winners of movie gift cards. A great big thank you to this year’s Blessings Team Leaders: Juliane F., Caitlin F., Gabyrel C., Kyle P., Arjun L., Alex C., Joaquin P., Alyssa M., Michelle K., Joshua M., Vivian B., George C., Victoria V., Jerald G., Thea M., Kristine C., Andrew S., and Phillip W. Also, very special thanks to the present and past Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers, custodian, and office staff, as well as all the team leaders, backpack donors and contest winners.

Now, that my time at SLR has finished and I have graduated from Grade 8, I am very thankful that our Blessings team was able to keep up with the yearly tradition. Organizing the backpack donation drive and collecting the backpacks for Blessings in a Backpack really was a wonderful learning experience for which we were able to put our virtues into action. Thank you everyone for all the great memories. These memories were truly made to last!


“100 Woman Who Care” Care About Feeding Children

100 Women Who Care is a powerful group of committed women that meet quarterly for 1 hour to make an immediate, direct and positive impact on the lives of their neighbours. At every meeting, the members contribute $100 each and decide where to direct the funds. We’re thrilled that 100 Woman Who Care of Greater Moncton chose to support Blessings in a Backpack. Their generosity will feed more than 90 local children on weekends.


For more information on this amazing organization visit


Cunningham Swan Steps Up Help Children in Need

It has been a difficult year for many with the stagnating economy and limited job prospects. Finding enough food for families seems to be more challenging than ever, even in an otherwise affluent city like Kingston, Ontario. Fortunately, there are great corporate citizens stepping up in this time of need.

Cunningham Swan, a premier law firm located in the old S & R building in the downtown core, is a great supporter of the community. Among its many philanthropic activities, each year, the firm chooses a local charitable endeavour to support through the holiday season. This year, the firm chose the Kingston chapter of Blessings in a Backpack. The campaign was promoted throughout the month of December; participants were encouraged to pledge either a monetary or food donation to the cause. The proceeds were collected at the firm on Dec. 15, 2014 allowing time to get food to a local elementary school before the winter holidays.

Through donations from lawyers and staff as well as friends of the firm, Cunningham, Swan raised over $1,000 in support of Kingston’s Blessings in a Backpack chapter along with numerous large boxes of non-perishable food items. This was especially helpful to the children of the school since there were sixteen days between the end of classes in December and the start of classes in January. The additional food helped families to cover the extra time when school meal programmes were unavailable to their children. It was a tremendous gift graciously received by the school.


Volunteer Spotlight: Update on Victoria G-C

The Gift that Keeps on Giving!
by Linda Goytan

VictoriaDuring the season of giving, San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Elementary School (SLR) in Mississauga surrounded their Christmas tree with 100 backpacks. These were all gifts collected from San Lorenzo Ruiz students for the children in need in the Blessings in a Backpack program.

All of these backpacks were collected during SLR’s 6th annual donation drive from October 1st to October 18th, 2013. Once again, Grade 7 student Victoria G-C organized this event together with these very helpful team leaders: Thea M., Kyle P., Jerald G., Alyssa M., Kristine C., Teresa C., Dale R., Andrew S., Juliane F., Christina A., Victoria V., Alex C., Caitlin F., George C., Arjun L. and Michelle K.

As usual, the entire Blessings Team put forth a lot of effort to encourage backpack donations by promoting the event with colourful posters throughout the school as well as, informative morning announcements and classroom presentations. There was also the opportunity to be entered into the contest draw for a chance to be one of 8 lucky winners of movie gift certificates compliments of Cineplex Entertainment.

According to Victoria, after having five previous years of very successful backpack donation collections, this year’s team leaders were on a mission. They were determined to keep up with that tradition and maintain their goal of collecting 100 backpacks.

Congratulations! Mission accomplished with very special thanks to Kyle P. and Thea M. who were this year’s very generous multiple backpack donors. Also, very special thanks to Cineplex Entertainment for providing the movie gift certificates which encouraged students to participate. Congratulations to all the contest winners and many blessings to the student donors, their families, teachers, office staff, Vice-Principal and Principal of San Lorenzo Ruiz School.

On behalf of the Blessings Team Leaders, they are very pleased and thankful to everyone who contributed in some way to make this year’s donation drive a success. As they look ahead to the next school year, SLR’s Blessings Team will focus on the virtue of hope. Hope that the tradition keeps on going and hope that their backpack gifts are put to use as soon as possible. After all, Blessings in a Backpack really is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving, over and over again, every time it’s filled and re-filled.