What: Operation Backpack Pick-a-Pack Morning

When: Friday July 27, 2018 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Where: VOA Family Shelter 335 Record Street Reno, NV


VOA’S OPERATION BACKPACK® TO DISTRIBUTE ITEMS plus CHA Nevada will have onsite school immunizations available

Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada’s Operation Backpack will be providing a new backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies to homeless and at-risk children during the Reno area Pick-a-Pack event Friday, July 27th.

All of the families and children in Volunteers of America Reno area programs are provided a backpack and school supplies. Additionally, VOA is partnering with the Washoe County School District’s Children In Transition (CIT) program and Community Health Alliance (CHA) Nevada to have their qualifying students receive backpacks as well. 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 and Operation Backpack hopes to provide every child with the tools they need to succeed in school.

At Friday’s Pick-a-Pack event children will have the opportunity to receive necessary school immunizations through CHA Nevada nurses on-site. Families may also enroll in CHA and receive additional information, resources, and referrals.

The Reno region has made a huge difference by donating school supplies and backpacks to Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack collection drive this year, with nearly 20 locations across the Reno area serving as “drop-off locations” in addition to the VOA main office at the Community Resource Center on Record Street. Partnering companies included Wells Fargo Advisors, 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 included Reno Media Group, Reno Street Food, and Quick Space Storage



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 “disadvantaged, in need or a shelter kid" rather than just another classmate.

During the last two months individuals, local groups, and corporations have collected and donated new items to the annual Operation Backpack campaign. These grade-specific school supplies and backpacks will aid, thousands of at-risk children in the Washoe County School District and the family homeless shelter operated by VOA.

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 Together, we are helping children learn and thrive in school, stay in school, and build a bright future.

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.


Linda Grace

Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada Regional Development Officer

775-354-3059 | lgrace@voa-ncnn.org