Posts with tag: "Blessings in a Backpack"
Saturday, June 08, 2013
By Children in Film

Let's be honest - In today's social media driven world, celebrities, politicians, and sports athletes find themselves with less and less privacy and they are increasingly being featured on the cover of tabloids or on "TMZ".

The talent industry is a tough business -- we all know that -- but how do you raise a well grounded, humble, successful child star in today's entertainment business?

When asked, independent producer Gregory James Blount who runs a summer camp dedicated not only to helping kids master their craft, but also to giving back to the community, and he had this to say... "I think that while talent is climbing the ladder of success for their own career, it is important that they give back through community service by helping others."  Sadly Blount says, "Today's celebrities often get involved or support a charity after they got in trouble and their publicist recommends it to help restore their public image."

Blount offers these 5 helpful tips to help you and your child star pick a charity to support:

1)  Make It Personal - The key to picking a charity is for your future child star to select something that is personal to them.  Sit them down and create a list of things that matters or interests them, whether it be a local humane society or feeding local kids in need for the weekend.  

2)  Do Your Research - After narrowing down your selection of charities you are considering to support, you want to find a local chapter to get involved in and then find out what their needs are.  

On a trip to Delray Beach, Florida - Disney Channel star Jake Short visited the students at the Village Academy and saw a need.  Over 98% of the 400 elementary kids are on the free and reduced food program, which means they get to eat breakfast and lunch at the school paid for by the Palm Beach County School District.  These same students often go hungry on the weekend.  Supporting a national charity called Blessings in a Backpack, Jake and Greg got together and raised funds to feed the 3rd graders for the remaining 38 weekends of the school year. 

3)  Build Your Team - Just like an actor might have an agent, manager or publicist  - you want your child actor to enlist a team that is going to support the benevolent cause, whether it is friends, family, classmates that can help out.  Enlisting volunteers takes effort and coordination. Depending on the charity's schedule of upcoming events and need for volunteers, you should speak to the charity to see how you and your team can help.  

4)  Raise Awareness - Whether you donate your time or help raise money, giving is all about the effort and energy you put into it.  To support the Blessings in a Backpack program, Blount used a website funding source called, which allowed through the use of social media others to join in and contribute to feed the 3rd graders at the Village Academy.  For only $80, you can help feed one child for the 38 weekends of the school year.

In addition, Jake enlisted the help of actress Olivia Osteen, the niece of Pastor Joel Osteen to film a PSA for the Blessings in a Backpack program, which was shot in the green screen studio at Lakewood Church in Houston.

5) Be Grateful, Repeat Process - They say it is better to give than to receive...  So whether you raise $80 dollars or volunteer 50 hours doing community service, it's all about helping your future child star stay grounded and understand the importance of helping others.  

Research has shown that the benefits of giving include a greater feeling of security, good health, a sense of pride, increased happiness and a love for others.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013
By Donna Balancia


DELRAY BEACH -- Jake Short, star of the Disney hit show A.N.T. Farm and Olivia Osteen, the niece of famous televangelist Pastor Joel Osteen, have taken to the airwaves to promote "Blessings in a Backpack," a nationwide charity aimed at fighting hunger in our schools.

The campaign is highlighted by a public service announcement produced by Sound Tree Entertainment's Gregory James Blount, who recruited two of today's brightest young stars to issue a call to action to help keep American school children from going home hungry on the weekends.

Through "Blessings in a Backpack," each Friday, volunteers donate their time putting food in backpacks of underprivileged children heading home for the weekend. In many cases their homes are without food, and some of the children have no home at all.  For only $80, the program can feed one child for the 38 weekends of the school year.

The PSA spot shows Jake and Olivia's efforts packing backpacks and detailing how others can help.  It was filmed at Pastor Joel Osteen's famed Lakewood Church in Houston. Chandler Kravitz, a student filmmaker, edited the PSA.

"Jake and Olivia actually support their own schools," said Blount who has wide-ranging experience in the entertainment industry. "Jake supports the Village Academy with me in Delray Beach, Florida, where he visited the school last year."

Olivia supports the Janowski Elementary School in Houston.

"Because I've had the opportunity to travel to Africa many times, I've met a lot of people who are hungry, even malnourished," Olivia said. "And through 'Blessings in a Backpack,' I've met kids who for different reasons need help with weekend meals. It's easy to think hunger only affects certain countries, but the truth is, there are hungry people living in America and your own city."

Olivia is the niece of Joel Osteen, Pastor of 43,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston, and whose televised worship reaches 10 million households each week.  Pastor Osteen will host "Night of Hope" at Marlins Stadium in Miami this Saturday.

"The entertainment industry is a tough business and I think it's wonderful when you have young talent who understand the importance of giving back while they're climbing the ladder of success," said Blount who in addition to producing the spot, sponsors the Village Academy." Jake and Olivia understand this and are making a difference."


To view the PSA, visit:


Monday, October 22, 2012
By Gregory James Blount

Disney Channel star Jake Short and the team at Sound Tree Entertainment are working together to raise funds to feed the 80 students in the Third Grade for the 38 weekends of the school year at the Village Academy in Delray Beach, Florida.  Recently, Jake Short and newcomer actress Olivia Osteen, niece of Pastor Joel Osteen filmed a national PSA supporting the charity.

For only $80 per student, we can send home an extra backpack full of food, so each child can come back to school Monday morning ready to learn. Blessings in a Backpack is People magazine's 2012 Charity of the Year.   Statistics show that if a child is fed on a weekend that come back on Monday ready to learn and more focused than a starving child, who hasn't had a good meal since Friday lunch at school.   You can help Jake and our team make a difference.  

We need to raise $6400 to feed each of the students at The Village Academy for the 2012-2013 school year.  There are over 400 students in this elementary school who qualify for this program. Any additional funds will be used to feed additional students.  100% of your donation goes directly to the students.  

You can help... please contact our office at 561-404-4087 to learn how or email at