Local mom packs and gives away stuffed book sacks to those struggling with addiction

BATON ROUGE– An Ascension Parish woman is using her journey and passion to help others through a nonprofit.

Michelle Perck overcame drug addiction to start M.O.M.S. Booksacks, which helps those who are suffering from addiction. 

The organization collects booksacks and various items to put in the booksacks to hand out to those in need.

Several years ago, Perck said she found out her son was a heroin addict while she was a cheer coach at Belhaven University.

She said that realization made her step back to reevaluate her life. She says she got addicted to pain medication, and she eventually entered a rehab facility in Florida, where she spent 90 days.

“I learned a whole lot,” she said. “When I got back, you know, it was, it was challenging at first.”

Perck developed the name “Mama Michelle” while working at the Grove Recovery Center.

“I always had a book sack that was filled with like socks, toiletries, snacks, just anything that these girls may ask for,” she said.

Perck says she started working at Gap where the company does events to give back to the community. She said that helped inspire her.

“My boss was like, ‘Hey, every month and a half, we do something to give back to the community. Is there anything that you would like to do to give back’?” she recalled. “They’re the ones that pushed me into starting M.O.M.S. booksack up that first year.”

“There’s so many on the streets that are still sick and suffering, and the majority of the people don’t understand that just a little bit will help them in a long way.”

Ashley Pape is Perck’s friend and a member of the nonprofit. She says once the group collects enough supplies, it will give the backpacks away at a location in Ascension Parish.

Anyone who wants to donate supplies can drop them off at the Gap store in Tanger Outlets in Gonzales.

“My main goal is I want them to know that they’re loved and they are not alone,” Perck said.

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