By Tracy Correa
Students in the Sacramento and Richmond areas received much-needed backpacks and school supplies thanks to PG&E, the Greater Sacramento chapter of Volunteers of America and the Richmond Police Activities League.
In the Sacramento area, PG&E employees donated 219 backpacks –50 percent more than what they gave last year – in a collection drive. In addition, the utility gave $2,500 to the Operation Backpack program organized by Volunteers of America.
In all, 4,864 backpacks were collected in the annual Sacramento backpack drive and children were invited to choose their backpacks on Thursday (Aug. 9) at a Volunteers of America distribution center. A half dozen PG&E volunteers helped students make their selections during the “pick-a-pack” event which featured rows and rows of colorful backpacks stuffed with school supplies.
In Richmond, PG&E donated 400 backpacks to the annual RPAL Backpack Giveaway organized by the Richmond Police Activities League with help from private donors and volunteers. PG&E employees also volunteered their time to help at the giveaway on Tuesday (Aug. 14), at the One Stop Youth Center, which included musical entertainment.
The two events followed a similar backpack giveaway in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood last week where 150 students received new backpacks courtesy of PG&E and its InspirAsian Employee Resource Group.
PG&E plays an important role in the success of the annual giveaways, said Nicole Elton, spokeswoman for the Greater Sacramento Volunteers of America. “PG&E’s sponsorship allowed us to do so much more for these children,” she said.
Elton also praised PG&E employees, who volunteered their time to help out recently in Sacramento. “Many of the volunteers showed up for multiple events,” she said.
Operation Backpack has provided more than 11,000 backpacks since it began. This year’s backpack collection exceeded last year’s by more than 1,000 backpacks. The giveaway not only provides backpacks, but school supplies to low-income and homeless children served by social service agencies as well as a number of school districts throughout the greater Sacramento-area.
The Richmond Police Athletic League has held its annual backpack giveaway for four years and PG&E has been involved for the last two. In addition to backpacks, the students received pencil boxes packed with supplies, scissors, rulers and other school essentials.
E-mail Tracy Correa at Tracy.Correa@pge.com.