Pay It Forward: Jesse's Bags

It's tough not to spend a ton on school supplies these days, but one northern Virginia mother is trying to help ease that burden for other families.  From new clothes to new shoes to new backpacks, and the supplies that go in them, Sherry Robinson is doing what she can—and teaching a lesson in the process.

Armed with a new Marvel Avengers backpack, Robinson's son, 4-year-old Jesse, is about to start another year of preschool.  His mom says when he started preschool, he actually had three book bags—but of course he didn't need three.  And that got Sherry thinking.  

"I really wanted to think of something to show my son the importance of giving back," she said.  

That's when Jesse's Bags was born.  The concept is simple: fill book bags with school supplies and donate them to those kids who need them most.  Robinson says she remembers going to school as a child with new supplies, and she couldn't imagine what it would feel like to not have anything to go back with.  

Originally, Sherry just wanted to teach her son the importance of helping others, but then she decided to post her lesson plan on Facebook.  Let's just say the assignment was well-received.  Her family members chipped in, and before she knew it, she had 45 book bags!  

The bags, filled with pencils, paper, crayons, glue and more, will go to various charities throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  Robinson says it makes her feel good that people still want to help others, but what's better?  Her son does, too.

"We have to bring all these backpacks to the kids that don't have any backpacks," Jesse told us, "so they can be happy."

The Robinsons are still continuing to collect items through the end of this week.  Their deadline is August 23, and if you'd like to help by donating school supplies, backpacks or money to purchase more, email them at

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