CUMBERLAND, Maine — Being a kid during a pandemic is hard enough, but if your family is facing financial hardship, it can make these stressful times even more so.
Hoping to help those kids are two kids themselves. They are high school students in Cumberland trying to make a difference in their community.
Sean Allen and Charlie Moore are friends and fellow freshmen at Greely High School in Cumberland. This summer, while working a part-time job together, they came up with an idea.
"Wouldn't it be cool to start our nonprofit to help kids in need," Allen said.
Moore added, "A lot of kids we see are not very fortunate and we want to make them feel happy."
So with the support of their family, these teens created Backpacks for a Change.
At first, the plan was to stuff backpacks with school supplies, but the pandemic made it difficult to act quickly.
"Everything happened so fast with COVID-19 and everything, so we kind of looked ahead to the winter and thought clothing, winter clothes, sweatshirts, and stuff," Moore said.
The Cumberland community quickly took notice.
"A lot of people sent in donations and they said just use it towards your calendar, you're doing a great thing," Allen said.
The calendar is the teenagers' first fundraiser and those initial donations helped the boys buy gift cards for prizes. Prizes designated for each day of the month that people who purchase a calendar could win.
Moore points out, "You can win a prize if you get your name drawn in December. One calendar is $10 or three calendars is $20."
The money raised will be used to buy winter gear that school officials will give to students who need it.
"It's cool we're just two high school kids from our school and we're doing something greater for school," said Allen, who is hoping this is just the start of big things to come.
Moore is hoping they can also help with "water bottles and school supplies."
And grow bigger than just the town of Cumberland.
"Hopefully move on to towns near us and expand it," said Allen.
Even teenagers know a little goodwill can make a world of difference.
"It just feels good to help someone in need," said Moore.
You can make a donation to the non-profit on PayPal by searching Backpacks for a Cause or if you're looking to purchase a calendar and be entered to win prizes you can email Backpacks4aChange@gmail.com.
You can also send a check to 21 Pumpkin Hollow, Cumberland, Maine 04021 and Sean and Charlie will fill out a form in your name to be registered into the drawing.