PAB'S PACKS is a local nonprofit organization founded by teens, for teens. The mission of PAB'S PACKS is to provide comfort and encouragement to chronically ill teenagers by donating custom backpacks filled with select items to enhance their hospital stay.
PAB'S PACKS was founded in 2015 by lifelong friends, Abbie Nelson and Pia Phillips after both girls received chronic diagnoses-Abbie with Type 1 Diabetes at age 13 and Pia with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 14. Throughout their hospital stays, the girls witnessed the comfort gap that exists for teenagers in the hospital and worked with Abbie's mom, Martha, to come up with a solution to let other sick teens know that they are not alone.
After many hours of reflection and brainstorming, the girls worked with local companies to design a custom backpack filled with hand-selected items that would be appropriate for adolescent patients. Each backpack includes a fleece blanket, plush penguin, stress ball, notebook and other comfort care items provided by corporate sponsors. In addition, each pack includes a hand-written note of encouragement written by a volunteer.
Since then, PAB'S PACKS has donated over 5,000 backpacks nationwide. Today, PAB'S PACKS partners with 30 hospitals and summer camps nationwide and continues to grow at a monumental rate with a growing waitlist of over 10 hospitals desiring to partner with them! With 1 in 4 children in the United States living with a chronic condition and over 15,000 children estimated to be diagnosed with cancer this year, PAB'S PACKS is dedicated to expanding their reach and bringing comfort and encouragement to more teens with a long-term goal of bringing PAB'S PACKS to children's hospitals in all 50 states.
This summer, PAB'S PACKS launched its first ever Teen Ambassador Board program-a unique opportunity for teenagers to learn how a nonprofit works and grow in their leadership and service. The 2018-2019 teen board is comprised of eight incredible high school students from across the Twin Cities metro-two of whom are PAB'S PACKS recipients themselves. The teen board fulfills PAB'S secondary mission to empower and equip teens to give back to their communities and inspire peer empathy.
PAB'S PACKS offers multiple volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups of all ages. To learn more about their work or donate, visit them at pabspacks.org. Will you have their back tonight? A donation of $25 tonight sponsors not one, but TWO backpacks with $10,000 match.