Operation Backpack starting up

  • June 1, 2017
  • /   Shannon Nickinson
  • /   education

The City of Pensacola's Parks and Recreation Department's Operation Backpack program runs from June 1 through Aug. 4. Credit: City of Pensacola.

Schools out for summer, but the City of Pensacola Parks & Recreation Department already has next school year on the brain.

Several of the City’s Neighborhood Resource Centers and community partners are collecting backpacks and school supplies again for the second annual Operation Backpack drive. This program was started last year to help children and families who struggle to afford these items when school starts.

"Last year we were able to help 93 children go back to school prepared with a full backpack of supplies by collecting donations and supplies over just one month. We are certain with a longer collection time and more community partners, this year’s drive will be even more successful," said Molly Mahtani, program specialist at Bayview Senior Center and the program’s coordinator.

New backpacks and school supplies will be collected at the resource centers from June 1 through Aug. 4 and distributed before school starts on Aug. 10. Donations will benefit children and families living near the Cobb, Fricker, and Woodland Heights Resource Centers.

— Haynes Van & Storage sponsored the event last year and has offered again to store any overflow backpacks and supplies.

— Skyzone Trampoline Park has offered two, 30-minute jump passes to families for each full backpack donated throughout the month of July at their Pensacola location.

— Heritage Financial is sponsoring the program and will collect donations from employees and customers throughout the campaign.

Parks and Recreation will also set up a booth at the July 30 Blues on the Bay concert and at the Aug. 4 Hill-Kelly Movie in the Park event to collect donations.

Here’s the school supply list

1 Backpack

1 pkg Washable Markers

1 pkg Colored Pencils

24 No. 2 Pencils

1 Pencil Sharpener

3 Pens

2 Pink Erasers

1 Pencil Box or Pouch

3 Yellow Highlighters

3 Glue Sticks

1 pair 5-inch Scissors

3 Wide Ruled Spiral Notebooks

1 pkg Wide Ruled Composition Notebooks

1 pkg Wide Ruled Paper

5 Twin Pocket Folders

1 Calculator


Here are the collection sites:

Bayview Senior Center, 2000 E. Lloyd St.

Cobb Resource Center, 601 E. Mallory St.

Fricker Resource Center, 900 North F St.

Gull Point Resource Center, 7000 Spanish Trail.

Vickrey Resource Center, 2130 Summit Blvd.

Woodland Heights Resource Center, 111 Berkley Drive.

Skyzone Trampoline Park, 5007 N. Davis Highway (July 1-31).

You also may help Operation Backpack program by attending the Ballin’ 4 Backpacks fundraiser event to cheer on your favorite high school basketball team June 16-17 at Vickrey Resource Center.

This two-day event will feature several area high schools in exhibition basketball games to raise money and collect donations for the Operation Backpack cause. Admission to the event is $3 or free with the donation of a new backpack and/or school supplies.


Girls Teams

Pensacola Catholic High School

Crestview High School

Gulf Breeze High School

Escambia High Scholl

Boys Teams

St. Michael High School (Fairhope, AL)

Pensacola Catholic High School

West Florida High School

Pine Forest High School


For the schedule and more info, click here.