Phoenix high school sophomore provides 'love bundles' to kids who need it most, wins awards

April 11, 2018

After seeing one of her classmates fail a writing assignment because she didn't have school supplies, Kaitlyn Martinez decided she needed to take action.

Only a sophomore at the Phoenix Coding Academy, Martinez selflessly helped her classmate get the materials she needed to succeed in school, and didn't stop there.

“We ended up doing backpack supplies for the whole school, with my old school and then it kind of just went from there,” Martinez said.

From there is when she created Backpacks for Kids AZ, now a 501(c) nonprofit, whose goal is to provide "love bundles," backpacks filled with school supplies and hygienic items, to kids who need it most.

As a result of her kindness, Martinez has been recognized by her principal, Seth Beute, and awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community award, along with the president’s Volunteer Service award.

Former Rio Vista Elementary student believes teens can make a difference

September 24, 2017

Kaitlyn Martinez, 14, a student at the Phoenix Coding Academy and former Rio Vista Elementary student believes teens can make a difference. Kaitlyn started Backpacks for Kids a 501 C 3 organization. Kaitlyn started backpacks for kids when she was 11 years old and one of her friends didn’t have any school supplies so Kaitlyn and her mom got her school supplies and that lead Kaitlyn and her mom Michelle to have a conversation about kids not having school supplies. That led to a school supply drive at her school. They were able to give everyone school supplies that needed them and it turned into an organization that gives an average of 1,000 back packs with school supplies and Love Bundles (bags for kids entering foster homes, shelters or who are homeless.)

According to Kaitlyn, “When one of my friends didn’t have supplies, I realized that there were others kids that also needed supplies in order to be successful in school. I wanted to give students the same opportunities I have. She has now made this a service club at her school and has students involved in making a difference for others.”

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Pendergast Superintendent is so proud of Kaitlyn. “It is so gratifying to see when one of our students sees a need and finds a solution. Kaitlyn is an inspiration to us all. We will be working with Kaitlyn to assist in her organization.

To donate, go to the website or Facebook page.

Phoenix Mercury And BBVA Compass Announce Winner Of Its "Bright Futures Women In Business" Promotion

June 30, 2017

Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc. has been awarded with $2,500 in cash and $5,000 in Phoenix Mercury assets, courtesy of BBVA Compass

The Phoenix Mercury and BBVA Compass have officially announced Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc. as the winner of the second annual "Bright Futures Women in Business" promotion, an initiative designed to support women-owned businesses and create opportunity for a brighter future throughout the Valley.

The four-week program encouraged leaders from women-owned businesses to write a short essay expressing how $2,500 in cash and $5,000 in Phoenix Mercury assets, courtesy of BBVA Compass and its 2017 "Year of Opportunity for Small Businesses" initiative, will make the future of their business brighter. The contest ran through June 15, and a panel of judges from the Mercury and BBVA Compass selected the winner after weeks of deliberating on the submission pool.

"BBVA Compass knows the important role that small businesses play in thriving communities and Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc. is an organization that is truly aligned with the bank's mission of creating opportunities for bright futures," said BBVA Compass Phoenix CEO Brad Parker. "This organization realizes the need for school supplies for children who live in low-income communities, and that's exactly the kind of community involvement we immerse ourselves in at BBVA Compass. They are truly creating opportunities for children to do well in school and create their own bright future. We are proud to recognize Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc."

She’s got your back(pack)

May 24, 2017

West Valley girl creates nonprofit to give disadvantaged youths school supplies

Childhood is often spent playing games, going to school, eating candy and making new friends. One Valley youth is spending her childhood making sure other children don’t go without.

Kaitlyn Martinez, 13, of Tolleson created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in 2015 to help local disadvantaged youths fill their backpacks with necessary supplies.

“I created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ after one of my friends failed a writing assignment because she did not have pencils and paper at home and was too embarrassed to tell the teacher,” Kaitlyn said. “It made me start wondering how many other kids are failing for the same reason.”

Peace Fund Radio Hero Of the Week

March 29, 2017

Kaitlyn Martinez, now 13,  came up for the idea for her organization in 2015 when her friend, a member of the Arizona foster system, couldn’t complete a school assignment due to a lack of the proper supplies. After turning the idea over with her mom, Kaitlyn created a Facebook page for Backpacks 4 Kids AZ.

She then asked her school and church if she could set up donation boxes.
She spent the summer creating flyers for her School Supply Drive and posting them everywhere, asking family and friends for help.  By the end of the summer she had collected enough school supplies for the 175 students at her school.

Now a 501(c)3 charity, her organization provides “Love Bundles” (backpacks full of toiletries and toys) to children displaced by abuse, neglect, abandonment, or rocky foster care experiences, as well as backpacks full of school supplies for low-income public school students.  Kaitlyn has built a team of volunteers and a board of advisors who believe in her mission.

This year she expects to reach her goal of providing 1,000 students with backpacks full of school supplies. She’d also like to join forces with other non-profits to better impact Arizona’s disadvantaged youth.  Kaitlyn hopes to be able to place donation boxes in stores like Walmart

Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award Honorees 2017

February 22, 2017

Kaitlyn Martinez founded the organization Backpacks 4 Kids AZ  when one of her friends failed a homework assignment because she did not have pencil and paper at home and was too embarrassed to tell their teacher. With the love and support from family, friends and members of the community, she has been able to help over 500 students experiencing poverty obtain necessary supplies for doing homework and attending classes. Kaitlyn’s organization empowers kids from low-income families and raises their chances of staying in the schoo

How 13-year-old Backpacks 4 Kids AZ CEO helps disadvantaged children

February 17, 2017

Backpacks 4 Kids AZ is a non-profit organization that provides local disadvantaged children with backpacks full of supplies. If that isn’t cool enough, get this: Backpacks 4 Kids AZ is run by 13-year-old Kaitlyn Martinez. Read about how Kaitlyn made her bright idea into a real organization on TechAZ:

I STEP UP FOR KIDS IN NEED

January 27, 2017

It's #stepupmonday on a Friday! Let's end our week with some inspiration from Kaitlyn Martinez: 
Hi--my name is Kaitlyn Martinez, I'm 13 years old from Tolleson, Arizona. I‘m the founder of Backpacks 4 Kids AZ . We step up to help kids in need with school supplies. Many local kids come from low income families who are already struggling and unfortunately cannot afford to buy the school supplies their kids need. Since May 2015, we have been able to supply over 500 kids with school supplies and this year we are expanding our efforts with a new project called Love Bundles. Instead of school supplies, Love Bundles are backpacks filled with hygiene supplies, clothes, toys, a special stuffed animal and a blanket for kids who are pulled out of their homes and placed in foster care.

KIDS ARE HEROES- Newest Hero Kaitlyn Martinez

December 31, 2016

Let's start the new year off by introducing our newest hero Kaitlyn who collects school supplies for kids who need them. http://www.kidsareheroes.org/hero/Kaitlyn_Martinez

Hometown Hero WINNER Presented by Arizona Coyotes and The Wigwam

December 17, 2016

Good Afternoon Kaitlyn,

 

This season the Arizona Coyotes and The Wigwam are searching for individuals that make significant contributions to the community and recognize them as the ‘Hometown Hero’ of the game.

I am reaching out to notify you that you were nominated by Michele Tallberg and after reading your story and seeing the contributions you continue to make, we would love to recognize you as the ‘Hometown Hero’ during our game this Friday, December 23rd  vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:00pm! As the ‘Hometown Hero’ of the game, courtesy of The Wigwam you will receive:

-Two (2) Lower Level tickets to the game

-One (1) customized Arizona Coyotes replica jersey

-A one-night stay at The Wigwam

 

On top of all of that, we will be recognizing you during the first period of this Friday’s game as the ‘Hometown Hero’ presented by The Wigwam.

 

Thank you and congratulations!

Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network- Celebrating Kids

December 11, 2016

Kaitlyn Martinez, 13 year old student created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ in the summer of 2015.  Now as of November 10, 2016 Backpacks 4 Kids AZ is an official 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

Backpacks 4 Kids AZ collects school supplies and backpacks for children whose families cannot afford them and now we are expanding our efforts in making “Love Bundles” for kids entering foster care.

The Business Model of Generosity

December 14, 2016

Something you’ll hear from anyone deeply rooted in the Phoenix community is that we are the most generous city for entrepreneurs. We stand behind this wholeheartedly, and at a space with 250+ members we are able to see that generosity in action on the daily.

Take Kaitlyn Martinez, for instance. Kaitlyn was one of the Youth Startup Weekend attendees (and winners) that created Munchies Mobile. She has also attended local events for coding and is learning how to build games and websites.

Newtown Kindness - Think Kindly Thursday

November 10, 2016

"My name Kaitlyn Martinez , I'm 13 years old and the founder of Backpacks 4 Kids AZ.
Last year I created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, after one of my friends failed a writing assignment because she did not have pencils and paper at home and was too embarrassed to tell the teacher.
It made me start wondering how many other kids are failing for the same reason, so with some help from my mom I created a facebook page, and then asked my school, church and and a friend of my mom's if I could set up donation boxes.

Backpack 4 Kids AZ: Valley teen makes sure students are ready for school

September 19, 2016

One teen is making sure students have the right tools they need to succeed. She's been gathering donations and school supplies to help families who cannot afford them. FOX 10's Courtney Griffin reports.

Valley teen provides backpacks, school supplies for kids in need

July 22, 2016

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) -

As back-to-school time approaches, a Valley teen is doing her part to help needy students in the community.

Kaitlyn Martinez,13, noticed a lot of kids in her community struggling to get the school supplies they needed to learn.  

So, Martinez started collecting supplies and filling backpacks to give away to those in need,

13 YO Packed with Purpose Wins $1000 Grant to Expand Her Charity to Foster Kids

September 13, 2016

Daisy Button Believes

Phoenix, AZ: Kaitlyn Martinez, just 13 years old, created Backpacks 4 Kids last year after one of her friends failed a writing assignment because she did not have pencils and paper at home and was too embarrassed to tell the teacher. It made her start wondering how many other kids are failing for the same reason.

Arizona 7th Grader Takes Action to Support Classmates

October 15, 2015

Thanks to a $100 grant from Start A Snowball, twelve-year-old Kaitlyn Martinez was able to give backpacks full of school supplies to 175 of her schoolmates. She also provided 20 backpacks to one of the largest domestic violence shelters in her Arizona community. Kaitlyn is another example of a certain type of young person that not only notices when something is not right in her school or community, but sets out to do something about it.

The Prudential Spirit Of Community Awards

February 17, 2016

Kaitlyn Martinez, 12, of Tolleson, Ariz., an eighth-grader at SySTEM Phoenix, STEM Charter School, has collected backpacks filled with school supplies for all 175 students at her school through her project called "Backpacks for Kids AZ." Kaitlyn, who started the program when she realized many of her fellow students could not provide school supplies for themselves, recruited friends to help promote the program, as well as set up and collect collection boxes.

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