Making a difference one backpack at a time. Help us give a hand up to people in need.



Shelley Septer 

Jacob Septe

Jacob Septer is the brother of Zachery and co-founder of the Backpacks of Hope.  Jacob has done a wonderful job with community outreach.  Jacob has worked with the media to share Zachery's story and our goal to give back to people in need.  Jacob is part of the Huntington North New Tech School.  He has organized a drop off at Huntington North the past two years for items needed for the BOH. Jacob shares Zachery's strong belief in God and enjoys mission work.

Allison Coleman

Allison Coleman is the Sister and Co-Founder of the Backpacks of Hope.  Allison currently works with United Way of Allen County as a Donor Relations Manager helping raise funds for Non-Profits in the Allen County area including the Rescue Mission that served Zachery. Allison is involved in all aspects of the foundation, she works with the media, events, organizing volunteers and community outreach.  Allison has always been strongly involved in doing what she could to help people in need. Allison enjoys going on mission trips, spending all the time she can at the beach, and sharing her faith with others.


Our first year we were able to fill and hand out 50 backpacks. 10 years later, we are filling and handing out 1,500+, thanks to the help of you All!



mission & vision

No need is too small and no voice is too quiet to be heard. We will devote the time and energy necessary to educate, advocate and feed.


Shelley is the Mother and Founder of the Backpacks of Hope in memory of John Zachery Septer.  Shelley had 4 beautiful children. John "Zachery" Septer 1990-2011, Kaitlyn Anne Septer 1991-1991, Allison Septer Coleman and Jacob Septer.  Shelley and her family wanted to turn their tragedy into a blessing for people in need.  Shelley raised her children to have a strong faith in God, love unconditionally and not be judgmental. Zachery put that into practice everyday with people in need and the homeless.  Shelley has spend most of her adult life as a public servant and understands that a little help goes a long way to better the lives of people in need.

Foundation History

The Backpacks of Hope was born out of tragedy and grows with faith and love for people in need. John Zachery Septer had the most giving and kind heart for everyone he met.  He did not know a stranger and would "well did" give the shirt off his back for anyone in need.  Please see Zachery's story to get the full history.  As a family our goal is to continue Zachery's Legacy and Journey of love and care for people in need.  Zachery believed with faith you could do anything.  I hope when you read his story you will not only want to help us make a difference but realize no matter who you are you can make a difference in someone's life.  

I would like to recognize a special lady that without this woman's love and brave heart none of this would be possible.  Denise Le we love you.

Our founder