We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlyn Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaitlyn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started Backpacks 4 Kids AZ when I was 11 years old and one of my friends didn’t have any school supplies so me and my mom got her school supplies and that lead me and my mom to have a conversation about kids not having school supplies. That led to a school supply drive at my school. We were able to give everyone school supplies that needed them and it we turned into non profit organization that gives an average of 2000 back packs filled with school supplies to disadvantaged youth every year

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Backpacks 4 Kids AZ is a student led non profit organization that provides thousands of disadvantaged youth in Arizona with backpacks and basic school supplies, hygiene, clothing, toys and more all year long. This year we opened a small resource center in Phoenix so children would be able to come and shop for free but unfortunately with the pandemic we have not really been able to allow the kids to come and shop, we are hoping in the next few months things will be back to normal and the kids will be able to enjoy our little center. Backpacks 4 Kids AZ is where it is today because of the support we receive from family, friends and the community. Many community members helped making thing easier but right now in these challenging times, I can say it has been difficult because we don’t have the donations coming in or the volunteers helping but the need for basic school supplies and necessities for kids in the community has increased significantly. Many people don’t realize though school may be online , kids still need the basic school supplies at home (Pencils, notebooks and crayons) . If you are a financial position to help -Please drop off a few school supplies at your local school.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if we are staying local in the Phoenix area Friday we would have to go to Oreganos for the pan pizza, it is to die for (if you love lots of cheese like I do) and has the old school atmosphere then afterwards go to Bookmans and find a new book. Then Saturday go play some laser tag at Stratum and afterwards go to Lenny’s Burger they give large portions of food and you will feel like you are going back in time , then going shopping at 360 Thrift Store and see what kind of good deals we can find.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shout out to Gerardo Ramirez. He’s been with Backpacks 4 Kids AZ since its founding five years ago. In that time, he has done much more than his fair share of work. From overseeing events and delegating tasks to packing the backpacks, Gerardo is always ready to help.

Website: https://www.bp4kidsaz.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/backpacks4kidsaz/

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