2016 Finalist-BackPack Beginnings
Parker White Founded BackPack Beginnings in 2010, driven by a compassion for families struggling to provide for their children on a daily basis. With two young children of her own, Parker understood a mother’s desire to see her child be happy and successful. But she also knew that not every family has the means to put enough food on the table or provide basic necessities for their kids, which led her to establish BackPack Beginnings. In the past six years, Parker has managed to grow BackPack Beginnings’ presence from only one school to 26 schools. More than 2,500 children are fed each week through BackPack Beginnings’ food pantries; this number grew from 50 children in 2010. BackPack Beginnings is aimed at expanding its efforts to reach as many children as possible.
Parker White was treated to a VIP Experience at Bristol Motor Speedway. Parker began her day with pace car rides on the infamous Bristol Motor Speedway. She received her official Award Jacket from Nationwide Representative Dawn at the Nationwide Hospitality Tent and met NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick. Parker attended the Driver's and Crew Chief's meeting where she met NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson and The NASCAR Foundation Board Member Mike Helton. Before Parker was introduced alongside drivers at the pre-race ceremonies, she was interview on Colosesus. Lastly, she celebrated with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Kevin Harvick in Victory Lane after the race.
At our inaugural Honors Gala in New York City on September 27, Parker was introduced on stage by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson. The video below was played to show guests Parker’s passion and commitment to Backpack Beginnings. She was asked a question on stage from NBC Sports Host Mike Massaro. Parker White was presented with a $25,000 check to Backpack Beginnings for being selected as a Betty Jane Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide Finalist.
“When I was living in Washington, D.C. I saw a news report about back-pack programs and it definitely had an impact on me, as I had no idea there was such a need. I remember thinking what a neat way that seemed to be, to help children. It didn’t go much further than that – until I had my daughter, my first-born. Everything changed for me after that when I saw how dependent she was on me for everything.”