Operation Backpack Campaign in Reno Needs Additional Donations



July 17, 2018 (Reno, NV) Volunteers of America is still looking for donations to help provide a filled backpack and school supplies to at-risk students in the Washoe County School District.

Thousands of children in the Reno area are homeless and return to school without the supplies they need.This impacts their education and their spirit. But YOU can make a difference. Join Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack collection drive by dropping off supplies – Monday July 23, 2018 is the last day for supply donations at partnering drop-off locations, but you can still make a monetary gift online in any amount through July 30th on the event website www.OperationBackpackNCNN.org

Operation Backpack will help kids in need that are in kindergarten through twelfth grade in the Washoe County School district.A new backpack not only provides necessary school tools but also improves their self-worth and helps a child feel good to start their first day of school. This year’s goal is to collect 3,000 backpacks for the Reno region alone, and nearly 10,000 more for entire Northern California and Northern Nevada region.

Nearly 20 locations across the Reno area are serving as “drop-off locations” in additional to the VOA main office at the Community Resource Center on Record Street. Partnering companies include: including Bizarre Guitar, Caliber Hair and Make-up, Dickson Realty, Geodis, Keller Williams, Legal Match, North American Title, Remax Professionals and Great Basin Credit Union. Campaign partners include Reno Media Group, Reno Street Food, and Quick Space Storage. For more information, to make an online cash donation, or find all drop-off locations, visit OperationBackpackNCNN.org.

Important Dates

  • Donations of backpacks & school supplies Now thru July 23 at partner locations
  • Kids Pick-a-Pack Event friday July 27th 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. - this event is OPEN TO MEDIA
  • Late Donations of backpacks & school supplies will be accepted thru July 31st at VOA Reno office(these will be used for children coming to the Family Shelter during the school year)
  • Online Monetary Donations Open thru July 31st

Where do the backpacks go?

The backpacks and school supplies collected remain within the Reno area to help local students. All of the families and children in Volunteers of America Reno area programs are provided a backpack and school supplies. Additionally VOA partners with the Washoe County School District’s Children In Transition (CIT) program and Community Health Alliance Nevada to recieve backpacks. CIT provides homeless children the opportunity to achieve the same high-quality academic standards by eliminating barriers to their education. Each school in the district has an advocate that works closely with each family and has identified over 3,000 students in need.


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.

The success of Operation Backpack, now in its 14th year, 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.

About Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada

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, and is the contracted operator of the Community Assistance Center which houses the men’s, women’s, and family shelters, Restart, Reno Works and the resource center; as well as two large affordable housing communities for seniors.Collectively Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,800 men, women and children every night in Reno and Sacramento, and nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities.