Panther Packs Inc. handed out Special Holiday Panther Packs at the Stryker General Store on Thursday, December 17 between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. This latest effort from Panther Packs will feed approximately 72 people.
A total of 15 families will benefit from the Special Holiday Edition Panther Packs that founders Emma, age 16; Sean, age 13; and Dean, age 8, Schindledecker have put together. This is in addition to the families being helped by the Panther Packs sent home from with students from Stryker school by request every week.
The Schindledeckers provided the Special Holiday Edition Panther Packs in partnership with Thrivent Action Team and Goebel Farms and were also able to obtain assistance from Spangler Candy Company, Arby’s, Wal-Mart, Stryker General Store, and Chief Supermarket. Additionally, the siblings themselves made donations to ensure that there were able to provide a special Christmas for many.
Panther Packs Inc. has been providing the weekly packs for less than a year but has grown substantially over that time. The organization came to be after young Emma was challenged to make a difference at Bowling Green State University’s 2012 Camp Millionaire. In a brainstorming session Emma, along with brothers Sean and Dean, decided they wanted to “pay it forward” in honor of their grandparents, Keith and Marlene Eberle, who had often spoke to the children about the importance of such behavior.
It wasn’t until January 2015 that Emma approached the school’s administration with her ideas regarding Panther Packs. From that first meeting, things began to happen very quickly. However, they quickly found out that it would be a benefit to them to become a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity to allow for tax write-offs for those donating to their efforts. With support and help, but also with a lot of personal time and effort vested, the Schindledecker siblings were able to take the necessary steps to become an official Ohio business on May 26, 2015. Since that time they have also drafted the necessary, and numerous documents, needed to become officially recognized by the State of Ohio and the IRS as Panther Packs, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity.
Panther Packs is a program designed to supply school-aged children and their family members with meals that they may not otherwise have access to. This is accomplished by providing backpacks filled with nonperishable food items to the children to take home over the weekends so that they are able to share a few meals with their family without having to worry about when or where there next meal is coming from. The backpack, provided at no cost to the children or their families, is discreetly put into the child’s locker on Friday to be taken over the weekend. Any family is allowed to request a Panther Pack. The organization does not request financial information, discriminate, or judge.
It is through the efforts of these three that many children and families in Stryker have been and continue to be fed. The siblings are quick to point out the many people who have helped them along the way including, but not limited to: Tad & Susan Shindledecker (parents), Keith & Marlene Eberle (grandparents), Todd Grosjean, David Schultz, Matt Arnos, Larry Freshour and countless others who have given of their talents and time. The Schindledecker siblings thank all of those whom have helped those to help others.