Although the school year is just wrapping up, Operation BackPacks is already preparing for September. The program aims to provide local children with new backpacks and school supplies – the tools they need to achieve academic success – and help alleviate the financial stress parents face each new school year.

“The start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children, but for some children, it is a time of emotional and academic challenges. Without even the most basic supplies, these students start at a disadvantage that only worsens as the school year progresses,” says Michelle Root, Assistant Co-ordinator.

With support from Giant Tiger, Staples, the United Way of Chatham-Kent’s Women’s Leadership Council and numerous local organizations and businesses, Operation BackPacks hopes to serve every child and family in need throughout Chatham-Kent. 

How can I get a BackPack for my child?

Parents or guardians can request a backpack for their children online by following this link. Alternatively, parents can call 519-354-0430 to speak with the Co-ordinator. Your information is kept private and confidential.

How can I help?

You can support this program by donating money, supplies or your time! The easiest way is to sponsor one or multiple backpacks at $25 each. Sponsoring a backpack allows co-ordinators to monitor the quantity of supplies and ensure each child receives a similar backpack. You can also donate your time by volunteering to help pack and distribute backpacks during the last week of August.

For more information about how you can become involved please contact Mary Symons, Good Neighbours Co-ordinator at 519-354-0430 or