backpack-bonanza-2015-5-jpgWould you believe that there are over 1.2 million school aged children and youth that are homeless in the United States? The number of children who are homeless seems to be skyrocketing all over the nation. It is important for our communities to come together to help these students have an academic year that is successful.

One way the community can help is through the volunteer program called Operation Backpack.  This program helps the children of homeless families prepare for the school year by giving them the supplies they need for school in order to help them achieve success in their education. The volunteers at Operation Backpack put together new backpacks with school supplies that are donated for kids from elementary to high school. This program finds churches, institutions, businesses (like your local roofers), offices, and schools that are able to provide the backpacks and supplies, or collect donations, for those in need. When these places host a drive, it allows more individuals that chance to be a part of the community effort.

Those who participate in the drive can place a box in view of the public where items can be dropped off, raise money through different projects for the operation, or put together backpacks themselves with items needed. It is always best to advertise the backpack drive on public spaces such as Facebook, Google+, or other spaces. This is a great way to get a lot of involvement from family, friends, and the community, all working towards one cause, helping the less fortunate.

One of the parts of the LULAC mission is to help the Hispanic population in the advancement of education. There are a lot of ways to do this. Addressing the issues in the system of education with policies is important, but the need for efforts by the community can help with a lot of the local level disparities seen. Operation Backpack is one of the many programs in the United States that can help kids that are homeless and make a difference in the outcome of a student’s education, whether they are in elementary or high school. This issue is something that is dealt with by over a million families and children around the nation, so I strongly encourage helping children throughout the community by providing them with the tools that are necessary to ensure they have educational success now and in the future.