COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — As kids get ready to head back to school, families are starting to load up on school supplies.

Unfortunately, it’s an expense that some families can’t afford. That’s where Operation Backpack steps in to help.

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They plan to provide 2,500 students in the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia area with backpacks that Lydia Barkley-Colbert and other volunteers pack to be distributed to students in need from Operation Backpack.

The backpacks come full of grade-appropriate supplies that were either donated or bought with donated funds. Helping ease the burden that back-to-school shopping can put on low-income families.

“There’s a lot of families that have lost their job and so just being able to help those families means a lot to us,” said Barkley-Colbert, who was helping stuff the backpacks.

It’s an effort organized by Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas.

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“With low income, and in homelessness, the impact of education is tremendous,” said Gianna Sullivan with Volunteers of America, “So what we want to do is help these young kids get new backpacks in and get raring to go once they get back to school.”

While on the surface, it may seem just like pens and pencils, they could be very well setting them up for a life of success.

“Ideally we want them to love what they do, and do what they love,” said Dr. Sullivan, “and we want them to celebrate their career in education and be very successful and prosperous in living their dream.”

On Saturday alone, they packed 250 backpacks. They’re not done; they still have backpack packing events planned, and they also need donations.


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Sean Streicher