Bear with Me The annual "Backpack Drive" provides new school supplies for needy students in the Greater Springfield, Massachusetts area.
New backpacks and school supplies are provided to area children whose families are unable to provide for them. Donations are received throughout the summer months from caring individuals, church groups, organizations and businesses.

These filled backpacks are then distributed to local children in need... some who are homeless living in shelters... displaced children due to a crisis situation such as fire or domestic abuse... those whose family has fallen on hard times and are unable to provide even the most basic of needs.

Partnering with businesses, organizations and churches, as well as individuals, new backpacks and supplies are collected during the summer months, preparing for the start of a new school year. Volunteers assemble these items and prepare them for distribution, which are vital to each child's success.

Currently the Drive assists children from low income and homeless families attending elementary schools in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2008 students received 157 backpacks – each filled with pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, binders, glue, calculators and other supplies students need to effectively complete their school work. In 2009, 221 children were recipients.

Student Adjustment Counselor, Maryann Paleologopoulos, stated, "Students who begin the school year without the necessary supplies often feel different from their peers. This leads to social isolation and can negatively impact academic performance. In contrast, students experience higher self-esteem and self-confidence when they possess the supplies they need to complete their work. This, in turn leads to improved academic performance."

How You Can Help...

  • Donate a new backpack - these are given to students in grades Kindergarten through Senior High
  • Donate new school supplies - see our suggested list of grade-appropriate supplies
  • Organize a collection at your business, church or civic group
  • Become a Business Partner or Sponsor - please see Contact Us for more information
  • Please contact us at 413.599.1729 ext 104 or to find out where to send or drop off your donation.

    Monetary donations are accepted and can be mailed to PO Box 717, Wilbraham, MA 01095. An acknowledgement of your gift will be sent to you as an income tax receipt.