Volunteers of America kicks off its 8th annual Operation Backpack campaign on Monday, July 21.

Through the campaign, homeless and at-risk children across Northeast Ohio are able to return to school with backpacks and school supplies. Volunteers of America depends on community members, groups and corporate drives to provide the items the children need to successfully kick off the school year.

“Homeless children face enormous challenges and as a result, less than 25 percent graduate from high school,” said Dennis Kresak, president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio. “Preparing kids with a backpack and school supplies eliminates one major hurdle and allows kids to focus that energy on succeeding in school.”

Both community groups and corporations are encouraged to hold a drive for the Operation Backpack campaign and as well as to sign on for the 100-Pack Challenge. Donation boxes are available at Volunteers of America Thrift stores, branches of the Ohio Savings Bank and Levin Furniture.

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