Before anyone questions my second grade teacher’s abilities, I rocked at math. So what’s with the unbalanced equation? We’re just  missing some words . Let’s try this:

23 business women + 22 minutes= 121 backpacks
That makes more sense.

Today, 23 women from the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County’s Women in Business (WIB) Committee  collected  supplies to fill 121 Backpacks of Hope to assist families receiving support  from Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County.


“The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County Women in Business Committee strives to help women both professionally and personally. Supporting DVRC with both Baskets of Hope and Backpacks of Hope every year has been a great partnership – a way we can leverage our connections in the community to gather and provide items DVRC clients so greatly need – and a way we as women feel good about supporting each other. It has also been a fantastic way to bring much needed awareness to this important issue.” Wendy Wilms of Cengage Learning and Chair of the WIB.

When  domestic violence  survivors leave the abusive home, they often struggle just trying to provide for their families’ basic needs (rent, food, health care.) September can bring overwhelming financial demands as they need to purchase school supplies for one or several children. That’s why the WIB has sponsored the Backpacks of Hope project for several years, collecting school supplies  to be distributed by DVRC so that families can focus on what important… building a new life so their children can live in a home without fear and violence.



“Imagine the trauma of leaving an abusive home with none of your personal items as well as no money and your child needs back to school supplies. With the help of many who gather supplies, giving back to the communities that they live and work in, these children get to go to school with a backpack full of supplies, being able  to just be a kid, without feeling different!” Mary E. Stokes, Stokes Wealth Solutions and WIB member


This year, the group assembled 121 backpacks for distribution. The WIB is impressive not only for how much they care, but also how efficient they are. it took just 22 minutes from the moment these women walked in with bags filled with assorted school supplies, to sorting, filling and loading the backpacks up for DVRC to distribute. Those 22 minutes will make such a difference for families struggling to break free from abuse.

If you’re interested in helping, it’s not too late. You can drop your donations off at the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County located at  15 Park Ave., Ste. 7, Clifton Park.