Packy, a furry, fun mascot is the symbol of the BackPac app created by U-M students to encourage others, particularly their peers, to spend some time volunteering in the community—especially during the holidays when the needs are great.
“The number of volunteers has significantly gone down in the last decade,” said Gaurav Dhir, co-founder of BackPac and a graduate of the Ross School of Business. “During the same period, the number of nonprofits and volunteers needed has gone up. We wanted to bridge this growing gap.”
Through the TechArb Student Accelerator, they created BackPac with tech-focused millennials in mind. Users can find local nonprofit organizations and read about their missions, a description of the assignments, and the importance of the tasks. Users can pick a date and time to volunteer, sign up, check out various transportation options, and find out any special requirements in advance. The app will even keep track of a user’s volunteer hours.