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North County Messenger

Operation Backpack Provides School Supplies to Area Children

Aug 20, 2020 12:00AM ● By By Christie Holderegger, Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada

Sacramento area children receive supplies for their school year. Photo: ambermb/pixabay

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Operation Backpack, Volunteer of America’s (VOA) annual school supply drive for students in need, collected over $97,000 in a virtual drive to purchase school supplies for more than 2,100 children through a collaborative effort between 19 local businesses, 9 corporate sponsors, and 1,000 donors.

COVID-19 has presented many challenges and changes to education for students everywhere, and it has been especially difficult for those living in transition from homelessness, in foster care, or in low-income communities. Operation Backpack provides supply-kits with brand new, grade-appropriate school supplies to all of the families and children in VOA’s shelters and programs. Additional supply kits will be distributed to 14 partner agencies, nonprofits and school districts, including Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Healthy Start Family Resource Center, and the Youth Service Bureau. VOA’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 new school supplies provides confidence and helps a child’s self-esteem,” says Ana Bankert, Director of Development, VOA. “Feeling prepared alongside every other child in the classroom is crucial to their ability to thrive. VOA 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 partners CBS, CW13, and Good Day Sacramento and sponsors Sutter Health, Niagara Bottling, American River Bank, Kids Care Dental, Phoong Law, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as individual donors and businesses who have hosted fundraisers.

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region. The professional paid staff operates more than 50 programs: homeless services and shelters; substance abuse treatment and mental health services; senior, veteran, and family services; transitional, permanent supportive, and affordable housing. Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to 4,500 men, women and children every night in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Learn more about Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada at