Bad Axe sophomore Galen Miller started the nonprofit organization Pack Your Back out of his dorm room at Central Michigan University in March 2016. Miller and a handful of other students and alumni began collecting backpacks and school supplies to donate to the children of Flint who were affected by the water crisis.
By August they’d collected enough school supplies to hand out more than 500 backpacks to children and families in need. Miller plans to focus efforts on metro Detroit in the upcoming school year, as well as branch out to the local level with smaller groups on college campuses around the state.
Miller attributes much of the success of his organization to the support system of friends and family at CMU and across the state.
“I consider all my friends here to be my family, because without them I would not be doing this - I wouldn’t have even started this thing. If you’d have asked me one year ago what I’d be doing right now, I’d probably be sitting at home playing video games instead of creating a nonprofit organization that’s going to help thousands of kids across the state.”
Miller's 5-year plan for Pack Your Back is to make it the top school supply drive in the state.
Galen plays cymbals on the drumline for the CMU Marching Chippewas.
He is the special event coordinator for the homecoming committee and is in charge of float planning for CMU’s Homecoming parade.
Galen Miller plays cymbals with the CMU Marching Chips.
CMU students set up to distribute school supplies.
Pack Your Back staff celebrates distribution day.