Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Operation Backpack

providing school supplies to children in need

Donate to Operation Backpack
If you or your company is interested in participating in Operation Backpack please contact Bridget Hickey
Phone: 312-564-2434
Fax: 312-564-2301

Operation Backpack is an annual drive that takes place from June 9th to the beginning of August. Throughout these months, school supplies and backpacks are collected by donors, companies, churches, and other partners of Volunteers of America of IL (VOA of IL) and assembled for students of  area Chicago Public Schools neighboring our housing developments for Veterans and the children we serve in our programs.  These backpacks then are distributed at the end of August at a back-to-school event hosted by VOA of IL. Operation Backpack is made possible because of the generous support of HSBC and generous individuals and company donors. 


Sponsored by:




Operation Backpack 2014 Highlights:

  • We distributed over 1,200 backpacks to children in two Chicago Public Schools in low income neighborhoods along with children of the Veterans that we serve and children in our child welfare services. We served 300 more students this year than previous years.
  • Culligan International and Cummins NPower, both new sponsors, donated over 500 backpacks between the two companies.
  • Operation Backpack partnered with 22 companies that supplied backpacks and school supplies. 14 of the companies were new in 2014
  • 44 volunteers prepared backpacks for distribution during our Operation Backpack sort weeks. 80 individuals volunteered at the two Back-to-School events that VOA of IL hosted, including 16 HSBC employees. 
  • At our Back-to-School event students were able to visit with a dentist to complete their back to school dental exam.
  • Both Back-to-School events provided the students with a meal for the day.
  • Operation Backpack supplied teachers at the two schools with books, Kleenex, and paper towels. 


Thank you to our generous donors who are helping us give backpacks full of supplies for 2,000 children in need!

Operation Backpack 2014 highlights