providing backpacks to children and youth in our community

Did you know that children and youth represent over one-third (34.7%) of low-income persons in Simcoe County?


There were 53,580 people living in low-income households in 2015, of whom 18,585 were children and youth.

In 2021 GHC provided 600 children and youth with school supplies, and in 2022 our goal is to support 1000 students with quality backpacks, lunch kits, and water bottles.

We need your financial help purchasing backpacks and school supplies, or through donation of items. The support from our community is vital to making this a success.

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Are you looking to donate supplies? Click here to see our most needed items and donate in-kind online! All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt.

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Items should be new, with the exception of good quality backpacks which can be in like-new condition. 

Backpacks will be packed in the middle of August so please get those items in soon! Items donated after will be kept for next year's program. Thank you for your support!


New Tecumseth Public Library-Memorial Branch

17 Victoria Street East


Angus Public Library

8505 County Road 10


Donation Bin (east end)

31 Mountbatten Crescent

Donation Bin (north-west end)

13 Castle Drive

Donation Bin (south-west end)

50 Columbia Road

Donation Bin (south-east end)

22 Armstrong Boulevard

Barrie Farmers' Market 

Barrie City Hall

  • June 4th, 11th, and 18th from 8am-12pm


New Tecumseth Public Library-D. A. Jones Branch

42 Main St. West


Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library

425 Holland Street West


Creemore Library Branch

165 Library Street


The Mom Market Collective

Duntroon Cyder House, 3079 Simcoe County Road 124

  • May 29th, June 12th, and July 17th from 12-5pm


Midhurst Public Library

12 Finlay Mill Road


Midland Public Library

320 King Street

New Lowell

New Lowell Library Branch

5237 County Road 9


Orillia Public Library

6 Mississaga Street West


Penetanguishene Public Library

6 Mississaga Street West


Stayner Library Branch

269 Regina Street


Thornton Public Library

34 Robert Street


New Tecumseth Public Library-Pam Kirkpatrick Branch

139 Queen St. North

to our supply drive

Listed in Order of Need
Crayola Pencil Crayons (24)

  • Rollback at Walmart for $1.97

Crayola Markers

  • Rollback at Walmart for $1.97

Lined Paper
Geometry sets
Scientific Calculators

Food Containers & Ice Packs

Lunch Bags

Construction Paper
Dividers – 5 tab
Pencils (no plastic wrap)
Glue Sticks


Pencil Cases
Pencil Sharpeners
Mechanical Pencil 0.7 mm
Lead Refills 0.7 mm
Correction Tape

Duotangs (paper and poly)

Water bottles




We are thrilled to announce that nominations are open for the 2022 Backpacks for Youth Program!

Eligible students are:

  • In JK - grade 12+ in Simcoe County 

  • Attending full-time in-person instruction at a publicly funded school

  • Living in a low-income household

What you need to know

  • Nomination forms (see button on this page) are being accepted until July 30th, however after 1000 students have been identified, names will go on a waiting list.

  • Participants will be contacted within 5 days of the form being completed. 

  • Backpacks will be distributed in July and August prior to school starting.

  • Nominators will remain anonymous.

  • If nominated by someone outside of the family, nominees will be contacted to confirm if they would like to be a part of this program.

  • If recommending the program to someone who does not have access to the internet, please have them call: (249) 888-6695.

Students at School

Please complete one form per child/youth being nominated. 

Applications for more than one child/youth per family are welcome.

Families may nominate their own children.


Become a Champion


Meet your philanthropic and community outreach goals by helping us provide children and youth living in low-income households the opportunities and resources they need to learn and grow, so they can help build a better tomorrow.

To ensure your sponsorship meets your philanthropic and financial needs, a sponsorship opportunity can be personalized - let’s talk.



In 2016, Frank Nelson’s dream of providing necessities free of charge to low income families came true and Glowing Hearts Charity was born. What started as a simple concept: “give what you can and take what you need” has evolved over the years — so even though the donation centre has since closed, a great future lies ahead for the charity.

Today, as a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization; the Board wants to ensure that Frank’s vision stays at the forefront by facilitating hope and help in our community.


  • 108,305 children and youth aged 0 to 19 years lived in Simcoe County.

  • 16% of children in Simcoe County under the age of 5 were in low-income households.

  • The percent of children under the age of 5 living in low-income households rose sharply from 12.1% in 2005 to 16% in 2015.

  • 9,575 children and youth aged 6 to 17 years were in low-income households.

  • In the City of Barrie, 1,710 children under 5 years of age were living in a low-income household (2.2% higher than the county average).

  • In the City of Barrie, 3,335 children aged 6 to 17 years, were in low-income households (0.9% higher than county average).

  • Among the 78,945 children aged 0 to 14 years, 20.4% were living with a single parent, and 12% were part of a stepfamily.

  • Low-income household rate for children and youth was 13.7%, compared to 11.4% for the total population.

  • Lone-parent family or stepfamilies increased to 34.6% among children aged 5 to 9 years.

  • Lone-parent family or stepfamilies increased 39% among children 10 to 14 years.

  • While children made up a smaller proportion of the low-income population, the incidence of living in a low-income household remained higher for children than the all-ages population in 2015.

Source: 2018 Child, Youth and Family Profile– Simcoe County

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