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Backpack Campaign




The Quiet Ones

Wednesday June 20, 2018
A student was walking down the transit between the Canyon Hall and Library buildings towards the parking lot. His bag, well worn, hung loosely from his shoulders. The main pocket was widely agape, the contents clearly visible and bouncing inside.
I shouted across the 30 or so feet to him that his bag was open. He remarked over his shoulder Its broken. Resigned and nonchalant. The student didn't turn around, he kept his cadence towards Rockwell Ave.
I caught up to him, Wait How long?
How long has it been broken?
I donno...
Do you need a new one?
It was only at this point I realized I hadnt yet seen his eyes, he looked up. Yeah.
Ill be right back, don't go anywhere.

In the corner of my office a black and grey backpack usually takes up residence. Its used to ferry my laptop, it's accoutrement, papers, and borderline ridiculous number of pens and thumb drives.

I unzipped the numerous zippers and fissures which held everything aforementioned, with the additional bonus of lanyards and swag from conferences long since forgotten. With a momentary sigh in acknowledgment of years of convenience the pack has offered me, I turned it upside down and let the contents drop to my office floor. After a quick survey, I was out the door again. I ran back, pack in hand, and found the student near some tall bushes, seeking refuge from the mid-June sun.

Whats your name man?
XxXxxxx, thanks so much he quietly divulged accepting the pack.

I fished a pen out of my pocket and a business card urging him to call me if he needs something.
I watched him walk away inspecting his new digs thinking to myself; I should feel good right now but I don't.

There are students walking around that cant even afford a modest bag to hold school materials. How long had this young man gone around with a broken back pack? Was he ashamed to go class? What other hardships was he dealing with?

What can we do?

(More than) statistics

 All homeless students

State # homeless students (total) As a percent of total public school enrollment Doubled-up or shared housing Hotels or motels Shelters, transitional housing, or awaiting foster care placement Unsheltered
United States 1,260,721 2.5 957,053 82,187 180,302 39,327
California 235,983 3.7 204,629 8,391 16,762 6,201

Homeless students with selected characteristics

Unaccompanied homeless youth English language learners Migrant students Students with disabilities
94,800 181,764 17,748 215,630
6,271 73,367 5,047 29,037

What is Project: Backpack?

Project: Backpack is a philanthropy effort to ensure that our students facing financial difficulty, food source or housing insecurity can, at the very least, be afforded the supplies to engage in their studies.

For our students whom are so intrepid, so dedicated that they continue pursuing their educational goals even through their personal barriers. For these students, Project: Backpack can and will provide aid.

Within the Counseling office in Canyons Hall, outside of office CHCS-220 a box filled with brand new backpacks, school supplies, a non perishable snack, and a handwritten card of motivation well wishes - waits to be united with a student in need.
No one needs to be informed, no conversation necessary. A student need only walk up and grab a bag of supplies, hopefully warmed by in knowing this campus cares for and wants them to succeed.

With one less thing to worry about, take this gift and some encouragment. You will do great things.

Each backpack contains:

Want to get involved?

We'd love to have you!