Augustana alum and NFL prospect organizes local backpack drive
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - There were more than 800 students in the Sioux Falls School District that were identified as homeless last year. As kids head back to school we’re reminded of the essentials they need every day. Logan Swanson, a former Augustana football player, and current NFL prospect is tackling the needs of students in the Sioux Falls area with a backpack drive.
“The coolest thing about why I picked a backpack to do the drive is the backpack is one of the first items when your a kid that is yours,” Swanson said.
Swanson first began the drive when he was an eagle scout in high school. Helping out kids in his hometown community of Mankato.
Christ of King Church has continued the drive since logan left, and in 2021 they donated more than 400 backpacks.
“You need to satisfy the basic needs of students in order to try to push them to grow in the learning environment,” Swanson said.
Last year Swanson decided he wanted to bring the same fundraiser to the Sioux Falls community. Working with Embrace Church, through the help of his fellow football players as well as others in the community they were able to donate 125 backpacks to Volunteers of America. All of them are filled with essentials for students in need.
“The smiles on their faces and the gratitude that they had for something that we take lightly, sometimes as simple as a backpack, can really make a difference,” Swanson said.
Fundraising for the same initiative began Friday.
“It’s pretty amazing. Watching the impact that has, we call it be the rock, and it makes a ripple of those around you. I’ve watched so many guys that have improved as people because they’re around guys like Logan,” Jerry Olszewski said, the head football coach for Augustana University.
Logan will continue to pursue his dreams of playing in the NFL but he also hopes to be a teacher.
“If we can be a difference-maker and a change agent to help people who are in hard times, especially students in hard times, it will just help them in the classroom as well,” Swanson said.
There is a drop-off at the Elmen Center from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday until the end of January. They accept quality backpacks, school supplies, and other essential hygiene items such as shampoo and deodorant.
People can also donate directly to the drive using a Go-Fund-Me
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