What Goes In a Backpack?

Every backpack given to a child through Operation Backpack® is filled with brand new school supplies according to the child's grade, so that these children look and feel just like their classmates. For example, high-schoolers get a dictionary and a scientific calculator, while the youngest children receive watercolor paint sets, washable markers and drawing pads. Children preparing to take geometry receive a protractor, compass and graph paper.

There are four grade-specific supply lists linked below (updated for 2020). We spend a lot of time curating these lists to make sure every child has what they need.

While we are not accepting school supply donations this year due to the impacts of COVID-19, you can explore the lists below to see what will go in the backpacks for each grade:

This year, we need to raise an additional $500,000 to meet our goal of a backpack for every child in a NYC shelter who needs one. Get your friends, family and colleagues involved by forming your own fundraising team.

Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and use the hashtag #OperationBackpackNYC whenever you post about getting involved!