Project Backpack: How to Give School Supplies to Students in Need

Project Backpack: How to Give School Supplies to Students in Need

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The Kane County Regional Office of Education has an excellent newsletter, and you can sign up here to get it.

In the most-recent installment is an article about Project Backpack 2014 — a community-based initiative led by Elgin Community College to benefit students in need. The effort is sponsored by Elgin Community College (Student Life, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Student Government), ECC Faculty Association, ECCP3, Community Crisis Center, Kane County Regional Office of Education, Kane County Teachers Credit Union, School Districts 300 and U-46, and United Way of Elgin.

Supplies will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug.  9, 2014, at ECC’s Spartan Events Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, to students who provide proof of residency or school enrollment within Elgin Community College District 509.

Supply fair recipients must demonstrate residency or school enrollment for Fall 2014 by presenting a medical card, school registration/report card, or birth certificate.

Backpacks are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is a limit of one backpack per student.

For more information about Project Backpack (event details, donations, or to volunteer), contact Elgin Community College’s Student Life Office: 847-214-7370.  Para más información, por favor hable: 847-695-8686.

Desired Supply Items:

Folders (Two pocket, solid colors only )
Spiral Notebooks
(one subject, wide ruled, solid colors only )
Packs of Loose Leaf/Filler Paper
(150/200 count, wide ruled )
Packages of Pencils
(10 count, standard #2, yellow wood )
Black pens
Scissors (gender-neutral color )
Glue Sticks (0.21 oz.)
Rulers  (wood or gender-neutral color )
Packs of crayons (24 ct./Crayola preferred)
Gender-neutral backpacks


Make payable and send to:
ECC Foundation
1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin, IL 60123
Include “Project Backpack” in the memo line

Online: Donate online via
ECC Foundation
(under “Make a Gift” tab, indicate the designation
of “Other” and add Project Backpack)

Donation Boxes Located:

Community Crisis Center
District U-46
Downtown Neighborhood Association
Elgin Chamber of Commerce
Elgin Community College – Student Life Office
Elgin Township – Supervisor Office
THE National Bank
United Way of Elgin

View Addresses


Volunteers are needed to fill backpacks with supplies on August 7, and also to assist with distribution on August 9!
Volunteer Now

Would your community agency or business like to share your services with families in our community at Project Backpack!
Register Now
Download Event Poster


It was the first year we have participated with Project Backpack, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how the process went!  From the start, we dealt with nothing but the kindest people all the way from the associates at the local stores who helped us get our supplies, to the selfless volunteers helping at the event. We were able to manage the event in an orderly fashion, where no one volunteer or recipient felt overwhelmed from the vast number of people present.  The recipients of the backpacks were so grateful for their new school supplies! It was such a great feeling to hand out more than 1700 backpacks and other school supplies to further help out the community. Overall, it was such a great event in which we assisted children who needed the school supplies so they can succeed this upcoming school year . We cannot wait to get more involved next year and possibly the years to come!

Peter Ulbert – President, Student Government
Nanci Alanis – President, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

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As a child, I was that student who had to wait in line with my mom, dad, and brother at similar backpack or supply distribution events.  In fact, it would be every year as an elementary school student.  My parents couldn’t afford it and we would rely on others’ generosity to make my school year a good year. This time, I got to be on the other side of the event: giving out the backpacks to those young children.  It’s so nice to see the hard work help so many people: countless hours of organizing supplies, collecting supplies from various donations areas, assembling supplies for two entire days, and so on.  The best part was I got to be that volunteer who helped to see the kids smiling  because I gave them their backpacks filled with everything they need for the school year.  I never imagined that I would be able to pay it forward to our future ECC students.  They got their backpacks at an ECC event, and if I was that student now, I know that I would feel so welcome to come to ECC because they gave me a chance to succeed.

Taylor Lantz – President/Manager, College Programming Board

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I got to be a part of the volunteer crew where I helped people prepare to receive their backpacks.  There were countless times where family members told me that ECC’s Project Backpack was the reason that their children had  backpacks.  The economy has affected so many people and to offer an event at ECC where we could make those families and students less stressed was very empowering.  People were simply humbled and grateful to be at Project Backpack.  I truly believe that community members will continue to look at our college for inspiration and for hope that their children will have a great school year and even a future college experience here.

JP Mansour – President, Associated Nursing Students

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The excitement on the kids’ faces said it all. It’s easy to forget how precious a box of crayons might be to some children.  I feel renewed in witnessing that.  Please put me down for next year.

Gary Christenson – ECC Professor Emiritus