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Service Spotlight: Give Back a Back Pack

I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and absolutely fell in love with a local news station segment called “Proud to be from Pittsburgh.” Even though I haven’t lived in Pennsylvania in four years, that phrase still strikes me as beautiful especially when I think of the place where I spent two decades of life.

Recently, through the Pittsburgh news, I heard of Chad O’Brien and his campaign “Give Back a Back Pack.” O’Brien retired from a career in sales and marketing and was inspired to start his program after hearing his sister had donated two school supply filled backpacks to a needy family in Arizona.

His response? Donate school supplies to the 511 students in grades pre-kindergarten to sixth grade at Highland Elementary School in Ambridge, PA. With the help of friends and family, he was able to raise almost $2,000.

For O’Brien, “Happiness is a happy healthy child” and the value of education is something his parents instilled into he and his siblings at a young age.

When asked what the driving force is behind his word, O’Brien said, “I was taught to give back whenever I could by my parents. I am grateful and blessed and feel it’s my responsibility to GIVE BACK!”

You can get involved by donating to Give Back a Back Pack. Checks or cash can be mailed to 313 Thorn St // Sewickley, PA 15143 or online donations can be made via Paypal at

To learn more about Give Back a Back Pack, check out some great local news coverage here and here.

I asked O’Brien if he had a favorite quote he wanted to share or a piece of advice that really stood out to him. This is what he wrote:

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

-H. Jackson Brown

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