Operation Backpack®

Operation Backpack® is our initiative to stand in the gap for our region’s most vulnerable children. Your donations help us provide backpacks, school supplies and funding for academic enrichment to more than 2,000 homeless and underprivileged children in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Together, we can help ensure these children achieve success despite their circumstances.

This Year We Need to Rethink Operation Backpack® in Light of the COVID-19 Crisis

Ordinarily we rely on the public – mainly companies – to organize drives that result in at least 2,000 full backpacks. For the other items needed, we raise funds to purchase school supplies, secure in-kind product donations and fill backpacks from scratch with the help of volunteers in August.

This year, with many employees working remotely and social distancing efforts in place, we simply cannot bank on things returning to normal in time to conduct Operation Backpack® in the usual way. Many children are experiencing distance-learning now more than ever and need the appropriate access to computers, WiFi, and other technology to receive an education. Public drives and volunteers at sort week are just not enough to get the backpacks and supplies in children’s hands before school begins – which is imperative.

As we adjust to this reality, we are having to make decisions and commitments to school supply vendors now, months earlier than in the past. So, for this year, we must do things very differently. As a community service with no government funding, your support is vital, and urgently needed now. 

Our 2020 Operation Backpack® goal is to raise $25,000. You can help us achieve that. Just $25 will provide a new backpack filled with the required supplies for a child in our care. A donation of $350 will ensure that a child has access to a laptop computer.

Donate to Operation Backpack®


We are in this together! Check out our progress so far on our JustGiving page and get your friends, family and colleagues involved by forming your own fundraising team.

How to Get Involved in Operation Backpack® 2020

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    Become a Sponsor

    Support Operation Backpack® 2020 by becoming an Official Sponsor.

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    Make a Donation

    Your monetary donation will help us provide backpacks, school supplies, computers, and distance learning resources for children.

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    Fill a Backpack

    You can help us by providing a backpack full of school supplies for a child.

    Learn more
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    Purchase & Deliver School Supplies from Amazon

    Don't have the means to purchase items and drop them off? You can order school supplies and other essential items from our Amazon needs list and have them delivered directly to us! We'll do the rest!

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    Our Family-Based Programs

    Your donation will support the vulnerable children of the families we serve.

    Learn more
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    Donation Drop-Off Locations

    Find the closest drop-off location near you.

    Learn more

Yannick Ngakoue, a former Maryland Terrapin and NFL Defensive End for the Jacksonville Jaguars shares what it means to him to support Operation Backpack®

On July 25, Yannick Ngakoue, a former Maryland Terrapin and NFL Defensive End for the Jacksonville Jaguars, donated 25 laptop computers to children in our Maryland-based supportive housing programs through our Operation Backpack® campaign and he challenges you to give too!

What it means to children in our care to receive laptops this year

Our Eastern Avenue supportive housing program 10th & 8th graders, Aryus and his sister Amari share what it means to them to receive laptops through Operation Backpack® this year.

Operation Backpack® News

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    Former Terp gives back in a big way, talks UMD football's future

    With the school year around the corner and distanced learning continuing in Prince George’s County through next January because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yannick Ngakoue stepped up to help kids from his hometown.

    Read Now
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    Kickoff of Operation Backpack®

    Nicholle Granger, our Executive Director of Fundraising & Development and Christine Miller, our Executive Director of the Alexandria Community Shelter were featured on ABC7 WJLA 24/7 News to promote Operation Backpack®! They shared about the unique challenges low-income children are facing as they prepare for school in the Fall in the midst of COVID-19 and how you can make a difference.

    Watch Now
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    Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas Kicks Off Operation Backpack® Campaign

    Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC) today announced the start of its annual Operation Backpack® campaign. The campaign, active for more than a decade, aims to stand in the gap for the region’s most vulnerable children by providing backpacks, school supplies and funding for academic enrichment to more than 2,000 homeless and underprivileged children served by VOACC programming..

    Read Now

Continuing Education Sponsors

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For inquiries contact our Operation Backpack Team
Phone: (301) 459-2020