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North County Messenger

Operation Backpack Provides Backpacks for 7,800 Area Children

Sep 04, 2019 12:00AM ● By By Julie Beckner, Volunteers of America

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Operation Backpack, Volunteer of America’s (VOA) annual school supply drive to raise funds and collect backpacks and school supplies for students in need, collected 7,812 backpacks and more than 152,000 school supplies through a collaborative effort between 73 local businesses, 11 corporate sponsors, 465 volunteers, and 818 donors.

Operation Backpack provides a brand new backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies to all of the families and children in Volunteers of America’s shelters and programs. VOA also distributed backpacks to 65 partner agencies, nonprofits and school districts, including Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance, American Indian Education Program, and also to students recovering from the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA. Volunteers of America’s longstanding partnerships in the community ensure as many children as possible get the tools they need to start the school year off on the right foot.

“Having a backpack and school supplies provides confidence and helps a child’s self-esteem,” says Ana Bankert, VOA Development Officer, Foundations & Corporate Giving. “Feeling prepared alongside every other child in the classroom is crucial to their ability to thrive. Volunteers of America is very grateful to work with sponsors, partners, volunteers, and donors who understand the importance of this cause and the children it supports.”

Operation Backpack would not be possible without the support and generosity of campaign sponsors Sutter Health, Golden 1 Credit Union, CBS, Phoong Law, Jamba Juice, Basin Street Properties, and a variety of local non-profit organizations and businesses who have donated funds and hosted donation drop off sites throughout Northern California. 

“Volunteering for Operation Backpack provided our team a meaningful connection to why Golden 1 supports VOA. Seeing first-hand the hundreds of donated supplies and backpacks truly made an impression on me and my team,” says Erica Taylor, VP of Communications and Community Relations. “Knowing these backpacks were going to families and children in need made us all feel incredibly grateful. More than 100 Golden 1 employees volunteered their time to stuff and sort in addition to donating 378 filled backpacks, proving we are indeed Stronger Together!”