Helping America's most vulnerable.

Operation Backpack 2016 to help vulnerable children by providing backpacks and grade specific school supplies



NOW thru July 22, 2016

Elizabeth Sands, Communications & Marketing

Important Dates

Donations / Internal Collection Campaigns Now thru July 22, 2016

916-265-3642 |

Drop-off Days July 11 – 22, 2016

All Day Drive Friday July 22, 2016

Kids Pick-a-Pack Event August 4, 2016*

Distribution Day August 5 – 10, 2016*

*by appointment only, not for public release


Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada (VOA-NCNN)

3434 Marconi Ave Sacramento, CA 95821

What is Operation Backpack?

Each year, thousands of at-risk children in local communities return to school without the basic supplies they need. Operation Backpack® helps these vulnerable children by providing backpacks, grade specific school supplies, and a variety of support services to homeless, at-risk and foster children from Pre-school to High School throughout the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento Area, and Reno regions. Together, we are helping children learn and thrive in school, stay in school, and build a bright future.

How to participate

DONATE online. It's fast and easy to do on via the Crowdrise donation page

START SHOPPING Fill a backpack with school supplies then drop it off at a drop-off.

COLLECT ITEMS Organize an internal collection drive at work, school, church, or club.

VOLUNTEER Help the campaign with marketing, data base tasks, sorting, item pick-ups, calls, etc...

ENGAGE Give a monetary sponsorship: in-kind contributions such as t-shirts, boxes, posters; donated advertising space; or provide specific supplies in bulk such as flash drives, calculators, watercolor sets, etc…

Where are donation drop-off locations? There are over 100 drop-off locations including most Starbucks stores. A complete list, by city, is available at

Where do the backpacks go? The backpacks and school supplies collected are used in a number of ways. All of the families and children in Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada's programs are provided a backpack and school supplies. VOA-NCNN also works with partner agencies and school districts across nine Bay Area counties, four greater Sacramento counties and the Reno/Sparks area to ensure as many children as possible get the tools they need to start the school year off on the right foot.


12,000 backpacks filled with grade specific school supplies

Tag line

Helping kids in need succeed



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One of the most devastating consequences of family homelessness, poverty or foster care is the impact it has on a child's education. Children who live in poverty or are homeless face many challenges and tremendous stigmatization – as a result, less than 25% graduate from high school. Frequent school transfers and the stigma of their situation weighs heavily on these children. When a child goes to school without a backpack and few, if any, supplies, they don't have the tools they need to succeed. Even worse, on day one of their new school year, these kids would quickly be noticed by others and identified as "disadvantage, in need or a shelter kid" rather than just another classmate.

But the Sacramento area community and beyond - from the Bay Area to Reno - has the opportunity to change this story. Operation Backpack boosts their self-esteem and gives them the tools and confidence needed to learn and thrive in school.

The success of Operation Backpack relies 100% on support from the community in the form of financial gifts and sponsorship, donations of product and services and spreading the word about the campaign. Last year, thanks to the generosity of thousands of people who live, work and in Northern California and Northern Nevada, or care about our region, we were able to provide 10,000 filled backpacks and this year the goal is even higher. For 2016, the goal is 12,000!

About Volunteers of America

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada affiliate of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating more than 50 programs in categories including emergency shelters, affordable & supportive housing, substance abuse treatment, veterans services, re-entry services, comprehensive job development, youth services and employment training. In fact, Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,800 men, women and children every night in the Greater Sacramento area. Nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities