A note from St. Vinnie’s Social Service Office: “The faces of the kids when they saw all of the backpacks to choose from was worth all of the hard work. They were so excited and many couldn’t choose between all of the wonderful designs this year. Multiple parents thank us for what we do, stating that without this giveaway, they had no way to send their kids back to school with the supplies they needed. It’s one of the best days of the year for St. Vinnies!”

Whether you donated cash, used our collection barrels, or stuffed our buses with school supplies, thanks to you and to our School Supply Partners, Bi-Mart, Oregon Community Credit Union, Fred Meyer, and Berkshire Hathaway! Here’s what happens after the big drive…

St. Vinnie’s volunteers never outgrow school supplies, and fortunately, our generous community keeps stepping up to provide them for all who ask. This year, Henry Ford couldn’t have engineered a better system for getting backpacks and school supplies rounded up, sorted, and packed for transfer to the clutches of eager young learners.

Members of Southtowne Rotary are the veterans; they’ve been coming for years at the end of their workday to the Atkinson Food Room, transformed for the occasion to a school supplies room. They were joined this year by volunteers from Cascade Manor, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and our Backpacks for Back-to-School co-sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union.

Their mission: To wrangle supplies generated by collection efforts throughout Eugene-Springfield, including Bi-Mart stores, Fred Meyer and Berkshire Hathaway.

Selfie-sufficient Cammy Green captured her teamates from PenFed Credit Union. In back from left are Kristen Ehrlich, Stefanie Hubbard, Dani Jenkinson, Marshall Million and Heather Simcox.

“It made me so happy to see the boxes of donations stacked up to the ceiling,” said Sarah Carpenter who turned out with the OCCU team to pack. “This time of year is very hard on families, but seeing our community come together to keep Back to School exciting for the kids really warmed my heart.”

Her colleague, Erica Cogburn agreed. “Having new school supplies and a cool backpack helps give kids the confidence they need going into each school year,” she said. “On top of that, parents not having to worry about the expense is a win-win.

DINO-MIGHT! Brantley, 5, and his school supplies, to be ported in a dinosaur backpack.
Brantley, 5 and pictured at left, was among the 158 backpack recipients who live in St. Vinnie’s affordable housing. Now he is equipped for and enthusiastic about the adventure ahead.

As Resident Services Manager for SVdP, Elizabeth Carr likes that attitude and all it portends. “Donations to the Backpacks for Back to School help kids like Brantley get the tools they need to be successful in the school year and beyond,” she said.

The volunteers were pretty satisfied as well. Said Erica Cogburn, It was such a rewarding experience seeing what the funds we raised were able to supply.” Her teammate Sarah added, “I’m so thankful to live in this community and to have been a part of this event with St. Vinnie’s and OCCU”