Stephen's Backpacks Society for Children in Need has appointed a new president and he has a familiar face.

Nancy McPhee, Executive Director for Stephen's Backpacks, was excited to announce that her son, the boy that started it all, Stephen McPhee, is now the president of the charity.

"We're really excited to have him at that position. I can't think of anybody else that is more suited to fill those shoes."

Stephen McPhee will be taking over the presidency now that he has graduated and turned 18.

Dad was president Jim McPhee up until two years ago when he passed. Now, following the most recent board meeting, Stephen will be president.

Nancy said there would be no Stephen's Backpacks without Stephen himself.

"It was his idea at the age of five. It was a boy with a dream. He heard that kids were on the street and he just didn't think that was fair. His logic was that he had so much and they had so little and it's up to him to share what he has."

For thirteen years Stephen never lost a heartbeat of passion and has trying to bring awareness of family homelessness while trying to encourage kids with gifts of hope.

"I think the biggest role that he has had is just the pureness and heart that he has to be a voice for kids in need," said Nancy.

She said she believes he will bring his heart into the role of president.

"Stephen is the one who has kept us grassroots," said Nancy. "He's just got a real passion and a focus that his job is not done until there is no more children that lose their homes and start school with holes in their shoes."

Being president, of course, is a huge responsibility. But, she believes that it is one Stephen is ready for.

"Everything filters down from the top and I think Stephen will make sure that we keep it grassroots. He will be very accountable for every dollar that comes in. There's nobody that saves money better than Stephen," chuckled Nancy. "I wish I could learn from him."

She hopes he will keep the kids with the most need in the front line and hold the board accountable for their roles and positions.

"People are looking for charities that give 97 cents to the kids and 3 cents to admin instead of the other way around. I think Stephen's going to hold us very accountable in a lot of ways."

 Stephen himself was excited about being appointed.

"It's exciting, really. I'm kind of following the footsteps of my dad."

He said that it all started when he heard his parents discussing how many children don't have a home to go back to at the end of the day.

"From there, it started a fire. A fire that has helped many, many children."

Stephen takes the presidency seriously and hopes to continue on the path he started out on thirteen years ago.

"My goals are, as always, to try to end family homelessness and to continue to bring joy and happiness to those who have nothing.

 Nancy wished to thank the entire community of Airdrie and those surrounding it fro their help and charity.

"Our whole family would like to send out a huge thank you to all those volunteers and all those corporate sponsors that have made us flourish in the last 13 years and helped over 64,000 kids across Alberta. We couldn't do it without the love from Airdrie, the love from communities surounding Airdrie, and a lot of people who got behind a little five-year-old and his dream."


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