About Us

about us Collage

Global Backpack Project is a community-based nonprofit organization that delivers backpacks and school supplies to children in need in the Pacific NW and around the globe.

We envision a world which supports education for all girls and boys so they may reach their unlimited potential in school and life.

Global Backpack Project exists to encourage a desire for learning by helping children feel prepared for school. With the help of our local community and partner organizations, we seek to make a difference in the lives of children just as they seek to make a difference for themselves and their community.

Our team members are as diverse as the people we serve. Fueled entirely by volunteers, we are a dedicated group of professionals, parents, concerned citizens, children and adults who believe we can make a difference by helping provide access to education for children and families in need. Our organization is headquartered in Portland, Ore., but our volunteers live around the globe.

The idea for Global Backpack Project was conceived when two people realized they might be able to help a group of girls stay in school. While traveling to the Middle East to buy textiles and handicrafts for their shop in Portland, husband-wife team Samir Naser and Karla Bean discovered that many children didn’t have adequate school supplies or worse, were not even attending school because they felt unprepared. They identified a group of girls in Jordan who were on the verge of dropping out of school due to economic pressures, despite the fact that they made straight A’s.

Naser and Bean delivered a handful of backpacks filled with school supplies to these girls. It made a difference and encouraged the shop owners to do more. After all, these cultures had given them so much. They wanted to give back. Since that time and with the help of a group of committed volunteers, thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies have been collected from the local community and delivered to school children in Jordan, Turkey, Cyprus, Morocco, Uganda, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Northwest.

GBP is fiscally sponsored by Investments for Developing Communities (IDC), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon.  Donations and contributions made to GBP are tax-deductible.

GBP is governed by an advisory board and is run entirely by volunteers.