A Legacy of Love and Learning

A Legacy of Love and Learning

Cindy Hankin had a passion for children. An educator and principal in the Howard County, Maryland, school district (where she lived and raised her two daughters), she received the Washington Post’s “Distinguished Educational Leadership Award” in 2009, before retiring in 2011.

“She was the most incredible person,” said Amy Cargiulo, who, as a young teacher, worked with Mrs. Hankin and recalled her as a leader and mentor. “She cared so much about everyone, including the students and their academic success.”

In 2016, Cindy tragically passed away from brain cancer at the age of 63. But her kindness and compassion towards helping students succeed will carry on.

The Hankin Family Charitable Foundation has decided to start a new Blessings in a Backpack program in Howard County in memory of their mother and wife as well as invest in strategic initiatives of the organization. The program will begin feeding 100 children every weekend of the 2022/23 school year.

“Food insecurity is one of our family’s key philanthropic initiatives. The school my Mom was principal at before her retirement had a significant FARM population and she saw firsthand the effects that the weekend and summer hunger gaps have on children’s academic and social success,” shared Jennifer Hankin, Cindy’s daughter. “My dad, sister, and I are pleased to partner with Blessings in a Backpack on a new program in our community to continue honoring my Mom’s legacy.”

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in a child’s academic success—attendance and test scores improve while behavioral issues go down. Plus, 59-percent of children who receive Blessings in a Backpack say they find it easier to learn in school.

“It’s a beautiful way to continue Cindy’s passion of caring for school children and her community,” said Erin Kerr, CEO of Blessings in a Backpack. “Thank you, Hankin family and Cindy — whose legacy will live on through the children of Howard County.”