“Backpack Kid” Russell Horning Encourages Support of the Boys and Girls Club of America
Internet sensation Russell Horning, known by his creative handle “Backpack Kid,” is a regular volunteer and supporter of community charities. He encourages fans, readers, and all community members to spend a little time giving back and volunteering with programs like the Boys and Girls Club of America.
16-year-old Russell Horning is a dancer at heart, and his Backpack Kid persona is a viral internet sensation because of it. His self-choreographed “flossing” moves are performed around the world and have been integrated into pop culture through video game references and SNL performances. He has a loyal internet following and fans in high places, as mega pop-stars Rihanna and Katy Perry will let you know.
Beyond his love for dance, Russell Horning also has a passion for giving back to his community. He’s made appearances at elementary schools with donations of backpacks full of supplies, giving an impromptu performance alongside the kids. He’s appeared at Zumba events and celebrity video game tournaments and even surprised a teen this year at her prom.
Backpack Kid is also an ongoing supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, whose mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
“I share a lot of the same values as the Boys and Girls Club of America,” says Russell Horning. “I want kids to be nice to each other and respect each other and achieve their dreams. I think they’ll grow up to be good people that way.”
The Club has had an impact in the lives of youth since as far back as the 1860s, proving to be one of the longest-running charitable organizations in operation today. It began with the vision to provide a world-class Club Experience that ensures all youth are on track to graduate school and have a plan for their future. It also helps young people develop good character along the way and develop habits of a healthy lifestyle.
Today, the Boys and Girls Club of America impacts the lives of more than 4 million kids and teens with the hopes to eventually reach more than double that number. Its broad reach is in thanks to diverse program offerings, supporting subjects like education, sports, career development, the arts, wellness, and leadership.
Volunteers are extensions of the hopeful environment the Club creates for youth. They help kids with homework, coach sports games, do crafts, teach art projects, and act as mentors. Through their assistance, the Club is able to build healthy relationships with young people and have a positive impact in the lives of our communities’ future leaders.
Russell Horning, who uses his Backpack Kid fame to spread togetherness and respect, hopes that he can inspire more people to volunteer with the Club.
“When you help these kids, you help yourself,” Russell Horning says. “Everybody is a little better off.”