Antigo­nish County girl help­ing fel­low stu­dents

Ken­zie’s Back­packs ex­pands to New Glas­gow and Truro


TRURO, N.S. – “I just re­ally like help­ing peo­ple and I know they need school sup­plies.”

That is the straight­for­ward answer eight-year-old Ken­zie Gormley gave when asked about start­ing an ini­tia­tive, prior to the start of the 201819 school year, to help those in need with school sup­plies.

The cam­paign, run last year by Ken­zie and her mom Sherise Pet­ti­pas with help from the Antigo­nish chap­ter of the In­ter­na­tional Or­der of Good Fel­lows, is as­sisted this year by At­lantic Su­per­store.

The sup­port be­ing pro­vided by At­lantic Su­per­store is al­low­ing the cam­paign to ex­pand to Port Hawkes­bury, New Glas­gow and Truro. The IOOF chap­ters in those com­mu­ni­ties are fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of their Antigo­nish mem­bers in giv­ing sup­port.

At­lantic Su­per­store has des­ig­nated Ken­zie their “backto-school am­bas­sador.”

“She came to me when we were out school sup­plies shop­ping and won­dered if she could sup­ply a cou­ple of back­packs and sup­plies for kids in need, to some place in town,” Pet­ti­pas said of the ori­gins of Ken­zie’s Back­pack, the of­fi­cial ti­tle of the cam­paign.

“We did some in­ves­ti­gat­ing af­ter we pur­chased all the sup­plies and couldn’t re­ally find a def­i­nite dis­tri­bu­tion area, any­body who was re­ally tak­ing it on. Kids’ First had done it in the past, but they were not go­ing to be do­ing it that year. We didn’t re­ally have a place to drop the stuff off, so we de­cided we would be the peo­ple who would dis­trib­ute the stuff.

“It just, kind of, grew from there; peo­ple made do­na­tions and we put to­gether some back­packs.”

The ini­tial goal was 30 filled back­packs, start­ing with the two Ken­zie and her mom do­nated.

“I think we ended up with 75,” Pet­ti­pas said, “which was great.”

She added, with At­lantic Su­per­store com­ing on, “they’ve been, kind of, set up as a dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre.”

Ken­zie, who is en­ter­ing Grade 4 at Antigo­nish Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre where mu­sic is her favourite sub­ject, was pre­sented with an award by IOOF rec­og­niz­ing her “out­stand­ing kind­ness.”

“I got a plaque,” Ken­zie said, as a large smile crossed her face.

The best way to ap­ply for as­sis­tance from the pro­gram is by visiting Ken­zie’s Back­packs’ Face­book page or email­ing ken­zies­back­[email protected]­ There is a scale used to eval­u­ate if a fam­ily qual­i­fies.

“We’re go­ing to ac­cept ap­pli­ca­tions right up to when school starts,” she said, not­ing it’s not a strict dead­line as they’ll ac­cept ap­pli­ca­tions which trickle in af­ter the year of­fi­cially be­gins.


Eight-year-old Ken­zie Gormley stands be­side a large sign in the Antigo­nish At­lantic Su­per­store which pro­motes the pro­gram she in­spired to help fam­i­lies in need with school sup­plies. Ken­zie’s mom Sherise Pet­ti­pas is the ad­min­is­tra­tor of Ken­zie’s Back­packs which, this year, has ex­panded to help fam­i­lies in New Glas­gow and Truro.

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