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Law Firm's Gift Makes A Difference For Detroit Elementary School Children

By Kris Kelly

There will be thousands of excited, happy Detroit Public School children the first week of class thanks to The Mike Morse Law Firm.  They'll receive a much needed gift to start their education off on the right track…a backpack filled with school supplies for each student from kindergarten to fifth grade.

The idea to give away thousands of back packs all started last May.  The Mike Morse Law Firm partnered with CBS 62 on a much smaller version of the project.  At that time, they gave 400 backpacks to K to fifth graders at one Detroit school.

"It was a wonderful event.  The kids were so excited," said Mike Morse, attorney and owner of the law firm that bears his name.

Watching the children dive happily into their new school supplies made an impact on Morse and his staff, but talking to the principal and teachers inspired him to do more.

"We met with the principal of the school who told us how important it was for the kids to see businesses and other people other than the families, giving to the community, giving to the school, showing them that other people care," said Morse.

"That really resonated with me, so I thought let's do this in a bigger way.  Let's find out how many kids there are in the Detroit Public School system, K through 5 range.  We found out there was 23,000 of them and my law firm said, let's do this. Let's give away a back pack full of supplies, everything they need on the first day of school so they can have the same playing field as every other kids in the state and be ready to go rather than having to look for pencils and paper and crayons and supplies."

All students at the 65 elementary schools in the Detroit Public School district will receive a pack during the first week of school.  Each back pack is filled with notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, folders, glue sticks, scissors, post-its, a pencil pouch that includes eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener, and a water bottle.

Getting all those backpacks filled with school supplies is no easy task.  The Mike Morse Law Firm partnered with the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a national 501c3, to make this vision become reality.  KINF provides school supplies to children most in need, nationwide.  They procured all of the backpacks and supplies, assembled them, and distributed them to DPS.

"Our Foundation is celebrating our 20th birthday this year," said Mary Lester, a board member for The Kids In Need Foundation.  "We have provided more than $668 million in school supplies since 1995.  We have helped more than 30 million students since 1995."

Although they reach 4.2 million students a year through their various programs, the Detroit Public Schools giveaway was the largest single event ever handled by KINF.  It took hundreds of volunteers and staff approximately three weeks to stuff all of the bags.

Now the work is all done.  The next step is giving it to the kids.  On September 8th, Mike Morse and his staff will make a surprise visit to one of the schools delivering backpacks to students.  Everyone is anticipating the children's excitement and the positive effect this gift will have for all the students at DPS.  Morse is hoping this project will have an equally positive effect on others to encourage them to get involved with local students.

"I'm hoping that other businesses will step up and do this for other school districts."

For more information on the DPS back pack giveaway, visit 855mikewins.

For more information on The Kids In Need Foundation visit

Kris Kelly is the Community Affairs Manager for CBS 62/CW50.

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