Generous young heart fills backpacks

boy with two chopping carts in aisle at Staples
Categories: Blog

SASKATOON, SK – Many people set goals, whether they are personal, financial or life goals. It keeps you focused, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life. But were any of you nine years old when you made your goals? Meet Zachary Phenix, a philanthropic nine-year-old that decided to set a personal goal of raising money, supporting The Salvation Army Saskatoon Back-to-School Backpack program.

When Zachary started his 2017/18 school year in grade four, he was asked by his teacher to pick one academic and one personal goal.  Zachary chose to donate $100.00 to the poor and to read 200 books. Amazingly, Zachary achieved both goals.

To raise this money, Zachary and his parents devised an unconventional method to reach his goal.  “We were inspired as a family (from a show we watched where kids earned money through physical activity instead of an automatic allowance). Since Zac does not receive any allowance he loved the idea and we made a chart for him to follow.  Instead of keeping the money for himself he decided to use every quarter or loonie he earned to put towards his new personal goal!   It took him one school year to raise the money,” stated Rachel Phenix, mother to Zachary. 

When a family member recently passed, the memorial donations were directed to The Salvation Army.  This is when Zachary made his decision to donate to The Salvation Army.  After researching the local website, Zachary was instantly drawn to the Back-to-School Backpack program. “Zac thought it was fantastic to have someone his age become the recipient of his hard work” stated Rachelle.

Zachary received grade information of a family with two children that applied for the program and started shopping for supplies with the assistance of Jerred Weyland of Staples Canada located on Circle Drive.

The Salvation Army Back-To-School Backpack Program in Saskatoon initially started in 2010, providing 10 children with backpacks.  Each year awareness of, as well as demand for the program, has grown, to the point the program now provides backpacks for 1000 children.  Each backpack is filled with supplies according to age, ensuring each student is provided with the same opportunity to learn as like their fellow classmates.

We would like to thank Zachary Phenix for having the vision to selflessly support The Salvation Army.  Thanks also to both his parents and school for recognizing that kindness and generosity are necessary, as well as teachable.

If you would like to learn more about The Salvation Army programs and services or would like to learn more about supporting our programs, please contact The Salvation Army Public Relations and Development in your area.