Sacramento, California – Friday, July 20, 2020 – Volunteers of America (VOA) announces Operation Backpack 2020! Every year thousands of local students return to school without the basic supplies they need to be successful. With support from our community we can give them hope to start this school year off right even if it is online.

VOA’s Operation Backpack officially kicks off its 14th year today, Monday, July 20th. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the campaign will be a virtual drive to raise $50,000 to purchase the supplies students need to be successful as they navigate distance learning.

With support from local donors and businesses school supplies will be purchased and delivered to the students who often fall behind because of unstable housing or lack financial resources – homeless children, foster youth, and at risk students.

COVID-19 has presented many challenges to students nationally and it is especially difficult for those transitioning from homelessness, living in foster care, or in low-income communities. Children who live in poverty or are homeless face many challenges and tremendous stigmatization – as a result, less than 25% graduate from high school. Preparing these children for school by providing them the supplies they need, boosts their self-esteem and gives them the tools and confidence to learn and thrive in school.

“Students were not prepared for distance learning when our schools closed in the spring. I had students doing homework on scrap paper or on the back of envelopes because they didn’t have the supplies they needed at home. Operation Backpack gives every child the chance they need to be successful,” says Monique Lloyd, 2nd grade teacher.

Last year, thanks to nearly 105 corporate and other community partners over 8,000 students in Northern California & Northern Nevada received a new backpack filled with school supplies.

This year, VOA's Operation Backpack is partnered with CBS, CW13, and Good Day Sacramento and has been sponsored by Sutter Health, Niagara Bottling, American River Bank, Kids Care Dental, and Phoong Law.

From July 20 through August 7, community members interested in supporting Operation Backpack are encouraged to make a gift through VOA’s donation page at or by texting “pack” to 71777. For more information on donating or sponsoring the program, contact Ana Bankert at (916) 265-3966 or