Operation BackpackĀ®

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What is Operation BackpackĀ®?

Children who live in poverty or are homeless face many challenges and tremendous stigmatization. As a result, less than 25 percent graduate from High School. Operation BackpackĀ® helps prepare these children for school by giving them a new backpack filled with grade-specific school supplies. A new fully loaded backpack can make the difference between children fitting in and being excited to go to school or refusing to go.

One of the most devastating consequences of living in poverty or experiencing homelessness is its impact on a childā€™s education. Without a backpack and/or the necessary school supplies required by the schools, the first day of school finds them feeling embarrassed and inferior to their classmates. Through Operation BackpackĀ®, Volunteers of America is able to provide support for these children. While helping to relieve a financial burden is essential, it also helps the children look and feel like their peers who are beginning the school year with a brand-new backpack and the required supplies.

How Can You Help?

When you support the needs of children in your community by making a donation to Operation BackpackĀ®, you are providing them with the tools necessary for a solid foundation to learn. Here are some ways you can help:


  • Purchase new backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies from our store: here.  Backpacks will be shipped to your designated region to support students in need. 
  • Grab your friends, colleagues, or classmates and sponsor a collection by joining here between now and September 1, 2023. 


  • Make a financial contribution and we will purchase and distribute the backpacks and supplies. The average cost of an elementary backpack with supplies is $25.00, a middle school backpack with supplies is $35.00 and a high school backpack with supplies is $45.00-$50.00.
  • Hold a collection event and bring your donations to one of our regional offices for distribution to students in need.

Send checks to:
Volunteers of America Pennsylvania 
Attention: Lindsey I. Glassberg
2112 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103

Take your new backpacks and/or school supplies to one of our regional offices by September 1, 2023, to ensure students received them for the start of the new school year.

For more information about Operation BackpackĀ® in Pennsylvania, contact Lindsey I. Glassberg at lglassberg@voapa.org.

Help Students Start the Year Off Right!