Ultimate Backpack Supply Drive collects thousands of school supplies for Richmond students

Over 21,000 PPE kits donated
Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 10:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Ultimate Backpack Supply Drive on Wednesday provided an opportunity for members of the community to donate school supplies and money for students heading back to school this year. At least 21,163 personal protection equipment kits (PPE) were donated to the event.

It was a team effort, for the third year in a row. By the end of the day, thousands of supplies were boxed up, wrapped shut and shipped off to Richmond Public Schools.

“We’re doing everything we can so our kids can get the best, everything they need for this upcoming academic year,” says Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

From leaders like Stoney to event organizers like Timmy Nguyen of the VCU Alumni Association, a group effort of sorting, collecting and packing supplies is what made this entire event possible.

“Even though students are home virtually, we want them to be prepared whether they’re home or in school,” Timmy Nguyen tells NBC12.

Donations included traditional items like backpacks and binders, to hygiene supplies that might not have been considered on back to school lists before 2020.

“There’s a lot of things that changed but with COVID-19. We made the best out of this and we’re so thankful for the community for coming out and supporting this great event that benefits so many kids in our community,” Nguyen said.

The generosity of residents in the city of Richmond and beyond is what’s making a big difference in a year where a school is anything but normal.

“We’re here for our kids, we believe in our kids, we want to be here for our community, as well,” says Kim Sterling, a school counselor.

We are still waiting for the final numbers of donations, which we are expected to get Thursday morning.

“The reality is we got to focus on our new normal whether our children are in the classroom or at home,” says Angela Roiston of Virginia Credit Union.

The supplies are being taken to RPS by UPS Freight and from there will be distributed to kids in need.

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