Home NEWS Schools Back To School Backpack Drive Underway; Donations Welcomed

Back To School Backpack Drive Underway; Donations Welcomed

Photo: File

MARTINEZ, Calif. (August 6, 2019) – The average family spends more than $700 each year on backpacks, school supplies, and new clothes for their children. Many low-income families are struggling to make ends meet and cannot afford these back-to-school expenses. Thousands of children enter schools throughout Contra Costa County every year ready to learn, but without all the needed resources to help them get the most out of their educational experience. To help these students prepare for the school year, Volunteer Emergency Services Team in Action (VESTIA) has launched its 2019 Project Ready-to-Learn backpack drive. Volunteers will be receiving and preparing hundreds of backpacks on:

  • Tuesday, August 6th
  • 9 am to 2 pm
  • 400 Ellinwood Way
  • Pleasant Hill, CA.

Project Ready-to-Learn is a collaboration between the nonprofit VESTIA, and Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD). Together they provide more than 1,500 NEW backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need. This effort not only helps them learn, but provides relief for their parents who are struggling to financially support their children’s school needs. You can watch more online here.

Two Ways to Donate a Stuffed Backpack

1)     Online purchase of filled backpacks

Through VESTIA’s partnership with the Sydney Paige Foundation, donors can conveniently shop online for a new backpack and supplies from one source. Listed by grade levels, the site allows you to choose the backpack and corresponding supplies. Delivery can be directly to VESTIA or to the donor.  For more information, or to place an order, go to https://sydneypaige.roonga.com/vestia.

2)     DIY stuff a backpack

Community members can shop, stuff, and deliver a NEW, high-quality backpack filled with new school supplies themselves in order to donate. A supply list by grade level is available on the VESTIA website at https://vestiainc.org/project-ready-to-learn/.  You can drop off stuffed backpacks between Monday, July 15, and Friday, August 9, at one of the following locations:

  • Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union
  • 1051 Detroit Ave., Suite A
  • Concord
  • (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F / 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat.)
  • Kaiperm Diablo Federal Credit Union
  • 325 North Wiget Lane, Suite 130
  • Walnut Creek
  • (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-F)
  • Kaiperm Diablo Federal Credit Union
  • 1600 South Main St., Ground Floor
  • Walnut Creek
  • (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-F)
  • Rakestraw Books
  • 3 Railroad Avenue
  • Danville
  • (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., M-F / 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat./ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,Sun.)
  • CC County Employment & Human Services Department
  • Pleasant Hill office*
  • 400 Ellinwood Way
  • Concord
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-Th
  • *call to schedule delivery (925) 521-5064


  1. Thanks for the reminder. I do this every year. And thank you to those of you who have reminded me “please, no solid red or blue backpacks.” I understand why, and it breaks my heart…

    • Call me “peanut tolerant”. Call me hermit-ically sealed away. I do not see any reference to primary colors in this request for help. Are you telling me that the Mongol hordes are just outside my prodigious castle walls? And I can’t wear my red shirt to the back-to-school dance?

    • I don’t think the Big Red and the Cal Boosters (Go BLUE) are on board with that. I think they want those aspiring, hardworking students who can’t afford a full backpack of STUFF but have the right stuff. Are the school boards and non-profits on board with this paranoid way of thinking. Stanford and Cal colors are not safe in the east bay because…? Why is that exactly?

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