Houston, TX - This summer, the YMCA of Greater Houston set a lofty goal for its ninth annual Operation Backpack initiative of giving over 55,000 backpacks to children and families in need.
The YMCA surpassed that goal thanks to the generous contributions from partners, businesses, and the community, collecting backpacks and school supplies for an estimated 71,277 students for the 2013 school year. The record-breaking campaign raised nearly $1.8 million in total supplies and cash donations.
While most families have to pay $150-$200 for school supplies, the truth is that some cannot afford to provide their children with the supplies they need to succeed. Students without school supplies can fall behind in their classes, and ultimately have fewer opportunities to reach their academic potential.
Jamie Clark, YMCA Director of Spiritual Development, summarized Operation Backpack's success, saying, "Operation Backpack reached over 41 school districts in the Houston area and has impacted 71,277 students thus far. This initiative absolutely exceeded our expectations and is another demonstration of Houstonians' generosity towards children." YMCA CEO Clark Baker added, "We anticipate future growth for Operation Backpack as its reach has increased in each of the last nine years. We are honored to serve the community."
The YMCA would especially like to thank H-E-B for their efforts in generating funds and hosting several special events benefitting Operation Backpack. With the help of H-E-B, Home Depot, Kidde, KSBJ, Shoe Carnival, KTRK Channel 13 and VisionWorks, Operation Backpack 2013 set a new standard in providing school supplies for Houston-area students.