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Custom-Designed Backpacks For Homeless Individuals to be Distributed
Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church, Alexandria, Virginia
on Friday, July 6th, 10:00 AM in Partnership with The CITYPAK Project

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – 06-30-2018 (Press Release Jet) —



The Heritage Presbyterian Missions Team, Heritage Presbyterian Women, and Heartlight Ministries with support from The CITYPAK Project will distribute custom-designed backpacks to individuals in need at Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday, July 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM. Rising Hope ministers to the spiritual and practical needs of the most at risk people along the Route 1 corridor south of Alexandria to include providing meals, a food and fresh produce pantry, clothing, hypothermia shelter, and job search assistance.

This donation is underwritten by grants from the Heritage Presbyterian Church Missions Team and Heritage Presbyterian Women of Alexandria, Virginia with additional contributions from Heartlight Ministries and the CityPak Project.  Heritage Presbyterian Church supports a wide range of local and global mission efforts.

Heartlight Ministries, a non-profit organization in Alexandria, Virginia dedicated to improving conditions for the homeless in Northern Virginia, receives tax-deductible grants and donations to purchase the backpacks from The Citypak Project in Chicago IL. Heartlight Ministries is a partner organization with The Citypak Project; Citypak is an initiative of the Selma Breskin Kaplan Foundation, and was founded by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Ron Kaplan.

Heartlight Ministries facilitates donation of the backpacks to local shelters and mission organizations for distribution to their clients. 

The CITYPAK project distributes safe, convenient, and versatile backpacks that are uniquely designed to meet the constantly changing needs of the homeless. The backpacks provide a secure place for displaced citizens to hold their belongings, and feature a spacious main compartment for a large amount of items, a hide-away poncho designed to keep both the bag and its wearer dry, a ballistic nylon outer shell strong enough to combat the elements, a cinch-top closure for extra waterproofing, and anti-theft measures. 

CITYPAK Founder Ron Kaplan explains, “Giving away backpacks isn’t the solution to the complex issue of homelessness facing our country, but it’s something we can do to make a small difference for people in this difficult situation.” The CITYPAK Project has distributed over46,733+ Citypaks across 119 cities nationwide with its Partners across the Country. 

The CITYPAK Project encourages its local distribution partners in each city to create programs that use the donated CITYPAKs as incentives for their homeless clients. The programs use a voucher system that trades program participation for a CITYPAK, thus encouraging people experiencing homelessness to more fully engage with service providers that can help them. The public can donate at to provide a CITYPAK to a neighbor in need. 

For more information about the Heritage Presbyterian Missions Team or the Heritage Presbyterian Women of Heritage Presbyterian Church or to make a donation, go to

Contact Heartlight Ministries at [email protected], and follow us on Twitter at

To connect with CITYPAK:

Media Contacts:

Phone: 7039211969
Email Address: Send Email

For the original news story, please visit

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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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