BackPack Journey comes full circle for Woodhouse employee

40 Faces of 40 Years Don (Woodhouse)

Woodhouse Auto—a steadfast partner of the Food Bank’s BackPack Program—is dedicated to the fight against childhood hunger. Through a unique mix of volunteer efforts, monetary donations, and public awareness campaigns—Woodhouse has been a tremendous supporter in helping thousands of elementary Heartland children experiencing hunger. While the program has made lasting impacts on the physical well-being of children across Nebraska and western Iowa, it’s also left a permanent impression on Woodhouse employees. For Don, his BackPack journey has come full circle.

“A few years before I started at Woodhouse, my family was struggling.” Don says one Friday, his kids came home with a bag of food that was placed in their backpack, unbeknownst to him. “At the time, I was a little frustrated. I felt as if I was failing as a father to support my family.”

Don says every week until the end of the school year his kids came home with nutritious weekend meals in their backpacks. This motivated Don to work even harder to support his family. It wasn’t until he started a new position at Woodhouse, that everything clicked. He listened to leaders discuss the BackPack Program and why Woodhouse supports it.

“It made me realize something after all these years. It wasn’t that I was a terrible father or husband. It was because at points in people’s lives, sometimes we struggle. It is because of Woodhouse and what they do for their community that I was able to make it through those tough times.”

Don says his experience has inspired him to help others in his situation. “Now I’m able to give back and help another struggling family so that one day they can be like me and take a step forward in their life.”

Jason Kruse—Chief Financial Officer of Woodhouse Auto—says Don’s inspirational story is exactly why they support this important cause. “At Woodhouse, we are honored to continue the tradition as a grateful partner of the Backpack Program…and also humbled to see, hear, and know the impact it makes, and has made, to thousands of children and their families each and every year across our communities.”

With Woodhouse’s generous support, the Food Bank was able to provide BackPacks to 6,776 children across Nebraska and western Iowa during the 2021–2022 academic school year. Their ongoing partnership is vital to helping students across the Heartland succeed.