You Can Make a Difference in a Student’s Education This Year

Support United Way’s efforts to ensure Cincinnati kids are ready to learn.
July 1, 2024
The Ortega Family at United Way Backpacks for Success event in Bond Hill, August 2022

Collect 2,500 backpacks full of school supplies. That’s the goal of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Backpacks for Success program, an annual school supply drive that prepares children to learn.

A quality education sets students up for success and puts them on the path to financial stability. That starts with ensuring kids have the tools they need to succeed in school, including pencils, notebooks, index cards — and a backpack to hold it all.

Backpacks for Success began in 2022 with the goal of collecting and distributing 1,500 backpacks in Hamilton County. Thanks to volunteers, individual donors, and faith-based, community and corporate partners, United Way exceeded its goal, distributing over 1,800 backpacks full of school supplies to area students.

A mother and her children pick out backpacks at a Backpacks for Success distribution event.

Since then, the organization has increased its annual goal to 2,500 backpacks and surpassed that every year.

This summer, United Way aims to do it again — and you can help.

The organization is collecting backpacks to distribute to elementary, middle and high school students in Hamilton, Clermont and Brown counties, as well as Northern Kentucky and Indiana.

Many community partners have already pledged to assemble and donate backpacks.

United Way Backpacks for Success event in Bond Hill, August 2022

"Participating in Backpacks for Success … was an incredibly fulfilling experience. It's heartwarming to see our team come together to support the education and growth of children in our community,” says Kimberly Shao of Medality, a contributing corporate partner.

“By assembling these backpacks, we're not just providing school supplies; we're investing in the future of these students and demonstrating our commitment to making a positive impact. It's a powerful reminder of the difference we can make when we work together for a common cause.”

United Way will collect backpacks until July 30. To contribute to the 2024 Backpacks for Success Virtual Product Drive, click here.

To drop off a donation in person, select the age group you would like to support, shop for supplies and assemble the backpacks.

The Jackson Children at United Way Backpacks for Success event in Bond Hill, August 2022
United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 2022

Requested supplies are as follows:

  • Backpacks for elementary school students: pencils, tissues, folders, markers, crayons, notebook, index cards, glue sticks.
  • Backpacks for middle/high school students: pencils, tissues, folders, index cards, notebook, sticky notes, highlighters, pens.

A full list of supplies and instructions can be found here. All donations should be dropped off Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the front desk of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Reach out to Catie Turner with any questions at: catherine.turner@uwgc.org.

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