Backpacks4Kids Program

Formerly known as Operation Backpack, the Backpacks4Kids program was initiated by the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation in 2013. It was established to address the growing need for school supplies among children of military and veteran families in Massachusetts.

Program Details:
From 2013 to 2022, the program experienced significant growth, both in terms of its reach and impact. It has evolved from a small-scale initiative to a large-scale operation, providing thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need every year.

2013: The program started with modest beginnings, with a few hundred backpacks being distributed in the first year.
2014-2022: The program expanded significantly, with the number of distributed backpacks increasing exponentially year after year. The growth was made possible through partnerships with organizations like Ocean State Job Lot, Penske Truck Rentals, Dollar Tree Stores, Operation Homefront, New England Patriots and OCAC.

This year's Partners include:
Ocean State Job Lot, Penske Truck Rentals, Dollar Tree Stores, Operation Homefront, and USA4Vets who have been instrumental in the program's expansion. These partnerships have provided logistical support, resources, and a network of distribution points, which have been essential to the program's growth and success.

Ocean State Job Lot has generously donated Backpacks and offered a platform for donation drives. Penske Truck Rentals has provided the logistical support necessary for transporting the backpacks to various distribution points. Dollar Tree Stores have contributed supplies and also served as donation centers, where patrons can purchase and donate items. Operation Homefront has helped to broaden the reach of the program, and USA4Vets has provided critical support in coordinating and funding the program's operations.

Costs and Impact:
The cost of school supplies has skyrocketed over the years, placing a significant financial burden on families, particularly those with multiple children attending school in different grades with varying requirements. The Backpacks4Kids program aims to alleviate this burden by providing backpacks filled with necessary school supplies.

By 2022, the program's yearly operating costs had grown substantially due to the increased scale of operations, but the impact has been immense. Thousands of backpacks are distributed each year, relieving many families of the financial strain associated with purchasing school supplies.

Future Projections:
The program's growth trajectory indicates the potential for further expansion, both within Massachusetts and potentially nationally. With the continued support of partners and the backing of new sponsors, like Caesars under discussion, Backpacks4Kids could continue to grow, serving even more children and families in the coming years.