With 23% of registered Calvert County Public School students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, it was clear to us we have students, neighbors, who will start school without the proper school supplies.  That is why we started Operation Backpack in 2009.  Our goal is to highlight the importance of education as well as help students approach the beginning of the school year with a greater sense of confidence and hope.

Operation Backpack 2014 was a huge success and we have so many people to thank! We would like to thank everyone who donated to our school supply drive and the businesses who served as donation collection points.

A new school supply drive opportunity presented itself this year when the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ choose Children’s Aid to participate in their Line Drives Program this summer. The Blue Crabs donated a free ticket voucher to each person who donated schools supplies to Operation Backpack during their July 25, 2014 baseball game.

Long-time Operation Backpack volunteer Gayle Haines organized a school supply drive within Potter’s Place Christian Fellowship for Operation Backpack and we were amazed by their generosity.

With school supplies that were donated at various locations/events and financial support from Children’s Aid, the HELP Association, Inc. and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Operation Backpack was able to provide new backpacks, school supplies and a new age-appropriate book to 137 Calvert County students for the 2014-2015 school year.  It is very rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of the children when the backpack they had hoped for (Frozen, Avengers, Sponge Bob, etc.) is handed to them.

We would like to thank the sixteen men, women and children volunteers who gave up a Saturday morning to organize school supplies, pack 137 backpacks and set up book tables: Paul America, Darrah, Delaney, Donny and Drake Clime, Gayle Haines, Lenor and Keri Harmon,Christy, Gary, Jeremy and Sammi Litka, Olga Mehr, Tracy Nicholson, Norma Taylor and Donna Ziberg.  It was heart-warming to see friends volunteering together and even entire families who came to help us pack the backpacks for distribution.

We look forward to continuing to grow Operation Backpack in the years to come.