Quick Facts

What is Operation Backpack?

Through Operation Backpack®, we collect and distribute brand new backpacks filled with school supplies to homeless and at-risk children throughout the Greater Cincinnati, Cleveland,Columbus and Indianapolis areas. A filled backpack relieves struggling parents of a financial burden and provides a sense of normalcy to the otherwise chaotic lives of these children, helping them to look and feel more like their classmates.

Many families in need can't afford a backpack and school supplies for their children. These children, who live in poverty or are homeless, face many challenges and tremendous stigmatization – as a result, less than 25% graduate from high school.

Most importantly, a filled backpack allows these children to start the school year feeling prepared and confident, with the knowledge that their education is important and that someone believes in them.

How can I get involved?

There are five simple ways to help Ohio and Indiana children succeed in school:

  1. Find your city for drop locations near you and download the school supply list.
  2. Organize your own drive at work, school, church, or club.
  3. Adopt a product and ensure every child gets a full backpack.
  4. Become a sponsor. We offer statewide and regional packages.
  5. Donate Online. It's that simple!

Get started today!

Where do the backpacks go?

The backpacks and school supplies we collect are used in a number of ways. All of the families and children in our programs are provided a backpack and school supplies. We also work with partner agencies and school districts to ensure as many children as possible get the tools they need to start the school year off on the right foot.

In 2018, over 4,300 children were given a brand-new backpack full a school supplies to start the school year right.

Where do I drop-off my donations?

Thanks to our partners, we offer many convenient locations to drop-off your donations. Choose your city and view the list for a drop-off location near you.

How can my company become a sponsor?

See the Be a Sponsor page above and discover how you can make a difference as a state-wide or regional sponsor.

Have a question? Email OperationBackpack@voaohin.org.