‘I just like to help people’: 7-year-old organizes backpack drive for students in need

Gregory Carey is already saving up his birthday money to buy supplies for next year’s backpack drive
A 7-year-old boy from King and Queen County spent his summer organizing a backpack drive to help out students from King and Queen County.
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 6:20 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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KING AND QUEEN COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A 7-year-old boy from King and Queen County spent his summer organizing a backpack drive to help out students in the county.

Backpack Drive
Backpack Drive(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

“I just like to help people,” said Gregory Carey, who attends second grade at Lawson-Marriott Elementary School.

This motto inspired Carey to start the drive and “make sure everyone has a bookbag.”

The idea flourished after a conversation with his mom, Candace.

“What ended up happening was he had one of his bookbags that didn’t last, so we had to go out and buy a bookbag for him, and he said, ‘What about all the other kids that don’t have bookbags that last them all year?’” said Candace Carey. “I said, ‘What are you going to do about it?’”

The question opened up an opportunity for Gregory to start his backpack drive.

Backpack Drive Flier
Backpack Drive Flier(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

“I typed up a flier. I posted the flier to Facebook, shared it with some friends, and money started rolling in, people started messaging me, how can I help, how can I donate,” said Candace Carey.

Over the summer, those donations helped Gregory buy over 200 backpacks.

“We also had donations of school supplies as well,” said Candace Carey.

Last week, Gregory filled a cafeteria table with those backpacks and school supplies to hand out during Back to School Night at Lawson-Marriott Elementary School.

“I felt happy,” said Gregory.

A moment bringing not only a smile to Gregory’s face but to his peers as well.

Gregory Backpack Giveaway
Gregory Backpack Giveaway(Source;King and Queen County Schoo | King and Queen County Schools)

“A lot of people in the community were like, oh, thank you because I couldn’t find any more glue sticks, or I didn’t find enough glue sticks or thanks for the bookbag,” said Candace Carey.

Gregory plans to continue this yearly giveaway and saved $290 of his birthday money to do it all again next summer.

“I want him to always remember that you know, being kind to people, good things come back to you,” said Candace Carey.

A lesson going beyond the textbook to show how a helping hand can make a difference.

“I wanted him to understand that you don’t need all the money in the world to be able to go out here and help people that’s in need or people who you love or just help the community, just be generous,” said Candace Carey. “That’s what we need in this world, and that’s what our kids need to learn.”