Back-to-School Drive

Why do backpacks matter?

Although you wouldn't know it, given the economic strength of Silicon Valley and the visible signs of incredible wealth all around, hundreds of thousands of students live on the edge of survival. Many low-income families struggle to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. There just isn't enough money to afford basic school supplies and a backpack.

Visit this infographic to learn more about why backpacks are important.

Understanding the cost

At retail, a backpack and supplies can range from $65 (Elementary) to $100 (High School). When these supplies are not available, classwork and homework often go undone, and by the 3rd grade, these students are, on average, already two years behind their peers in reading and math (both identified as key to future success in STEAM-related subjects). Lacking these supplies can also destabilize a student's self-esteem and confidence in that classroom.

Help us build a path out of poverty

With inflation rising, we anticipate that the 2022-2023 school year will continue to be challenging for families already living paycheck to paycheck, leaving little left for items like essential school supplies. Our Back-to-School program aims to level the playing field while also relieving the financial burden for parents. With summer just around the corner, children are excited to finish up the school year and have adventures. But at Family Giving Tree, we’re already thinking about the new school year! This year, our goal is to ensure that 26,000 Bay Area students have what they need to start the school year. This program is made possible through the generosity of people like you.

Ways to get involved

• Donate—Your generous donations allow us to bulk-purchase gifts and expand our reach
 Lead a Drive —Organize your own backpack and school supply drive with your corporation or social club
• Volunteer—Help us sort and prepare backpacks for our recipient schools and nonprofits
• SponsorBe recognized for playing a key role in the success of our program
(*Learn about our Matching Program!)

How did our Back-to-School Drive Start?

The Back-to-School drive was launched in 1995 with the goal of closing the educational gap for in-need K-12 students. New backpacks full of essential, grade-appropriate school supplies are collected and delivered to Bay Area students. In 2021 alone, 25,000+ backpacks were distributed through partner schools and agencies but we still need to do more. See how it works.

“Your support will help our students learn, succeed, and be the first in their family to go to college. These backpacks filled a huge need for our students.”
     –– G Reyes, Co-Principal ARISE High School