Bay Area Rescue Mission preps to distribute 1,000 free backpacks with supplies

Bay Area Rescue Mission preps to distribute 1,000 free backpacks with supplies
A local student receives a backpack and school supplies at the annual event held by Bay Area Rescue Mission in partnership with Chevron Richmond in 2020.

The Bay Area Rescue Mission’s annual backpack giveaway is set to provide local children in need with 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. 

“Thanks to Chevron’s contributions, we are able to supply a year’s worth of school supplies to our neighboring and shelter-based children,” said BARM officials.

The backpacks and supplies will be distributed from the BARM parking lot at 123 Macdonald Ave. on Wednesday, August 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children attending West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) schools from pre-K to 12th grades can register to pick up a backpack here. Registration is open now until Tuesday, August 3.

When the giveaway was launched two decades ago, 20 backpacks were distributed at the event. Now, in partnership with longtime supporter Chevron Richmond along with The Fountain Project of El Cerrito and individual donors, 1,000 backpacks with supplies, called “Gifts of Love,” are provided.

“We hope to set children up to succeed as they start the school year with excitement that they have everything they need,” BARM said. “We hope that these ‘Gifts of Love’ bring relief to parents as they will have one less thing to worry about, especially during a pandemic.”

BARM is a nonprofit serving impoverished men, women, and children every day of the year, providing various emergency and long-term services, including food, clothing, shelter, recovery programs, life skills and job skills training, job placement, family reconciliation, and counseling. Each year, BARM serves over 70,000 people and offers 1.2 million meals and 82,000 nights of shelter.