August, 2017

National Backpack Program Marks 17th Year

The beginning of a new school year is full of excitement and hope. But for families who can’t afford to provide the bare necessities to their children, it’s often a time for stress and concern. The Foundation’s National Backpack Program, which was established in 2001, seeks to help these deserving kids by donating sturdy and colorful sackpacks containing essential school supplies across the country. In 2017, some 100,000 sackpacks were given away − enough to cover two and a half football fields! Time and again, sackpack recipients tell us what an important difference it makes for their children to receive these much-needed supplies. When families have to make a choice purchasing between school supplies and putting food on the table, it’s obvious how meaningful this program can be. Sackpack recipients include nonprofit organizations, schools, government officials and others who are dedicated to helping children start with school year with dignity and hope. In some cases, the sackpacks are used for weekend feeding programs – giving children another measure of security.

Fun Facts About 4 million Sackpacks

It would take 80,000 school buses to hold all the students who’ve received backpacks and sackpacks since 2001.

If you put all of the backpacks and sackpacks that we’ve donated together, they would:

  • Weigh more than 140 African elephants
  • Reach across the Grand Canyon 60 times
  • Be taller than 100 Washington Monuments
  • Cover 100 football fields
  • Be enough to give one to every person in Los Angeles

At the end of the day, though, these donations help one child at a time – and that’s the most important statistic of all!