SEE IT: 9-Year-Old’s Winning T-Shirt Design Helps Spartan Donate $25,000 to Feed Hungry Kids

SEE IT: 9-Year-Old’s Winning T-Shirt Design Helps Spartan Donate $25,000 to Feed Hungry Kids

Written by the Spartan Editors via

Back in September, Blessings in a Backpack — a nonprofit organization that provides food on the weekends for elementary-school children across America who suffer from food insecurity — partnered with the Spartan Kids Foundation, Spartan’s nonprofit arm, for a nationwide T-shirt design contest.

In an effort to raise funds to help prevent childhood hunger, children across the country used their imaginations to design a new Blessings in a Backpack T-shirt. The partnering organizations are proud to announce the winner: Nate McDermott, 9, from Thousand Oaks, California. Congrats, Nate!

“While this was a fun way for kids to help us with a creative design, it was also about getting them involved in our mission and helping other kids their own ages,” said Nikki Grizzle, Blessings in a Backpack’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We received hundreds of creative design entries for this contest, letting people across the country vote for the winning design, and Nate’s design was a perfect fit.

“We are also so appreciative of the Spartan Kids Foundation for partnering with us for this contest and donating $25,000 to help us feed children who are suffering from food insecurity.”

The limited-edition T-shirt is available in both kids and adult sizes, and can be purchased here.

McDermott’s design and name will be printed on Blessings in a Backpack’s next T-shirt. He will also receive a Blessings in a Backpack prize package, including his T-shirt, a $50 Amazon gift card, and a code for a free Spartan Kids race. His teacher, Ms. Julie Herder, will also receive a $1,000 Amazon gift card to spend on her classroom wish list.

“We are proud to partner with Blessings and are inspired to see the creativity and passion, as evidenced by the hundreds of great designs submitted,” said Alfred Schreiber, the co-director of the Spartan Kids Foundation. “We want to send along special thanks to all the children who took the time to help kids in need by taking part.”

“This is amazing news,” said Laura McDermott, the winner’s mom. “Nate is so thrilled, and we are extremely proud of him. He is very honored to be a part of supporting such an amazing cause like Blessings in a Backpack!”

To enter the contest, children ages 12 and under were asked to print out the form on the Blessings in a Backpack website and draw their favorite thing about school. The national Blessings in a Backpack team selected the top 10 finalists and shared those designs on its Facebook page, where fans voted for their favorite design. In total, Blessings in a Backpack received 3,028 votes on Facebook from Oct. 19-23. McDermott’s design accumulated 756 likes, about a quarter of the total votes.

The Spartan Kids Foundation donated $20 to Blessings in a Backpack for every contest entry submitted, and donated a grant total of $25,000 to the nonprofit to continue feeding hungry kids. Blessings in a Backpack currently feeds over 88,000 children in 1,092 schools across 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Picture of Nate the winning artist
Winning t-shirt design