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Back to School Backpack Program

Help us raise $25,000 and give 170 kids in Marin essential back-to-school supplies!


Our Back-to-School Backpack Program is here! In just a few weeks, kids across Marin County will be getting ready for school. With a mix of excitement and nerves the night before, they will be laying out their clothes and filling their new backpacks with supplies they need for a strong start to the year. 

Education is one way to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty. However, many low-income families simply do not have the means to purchase backpacks and school supplies for their children. This is where you come in! 

For families in need, school supplies are a luxury, when they’re truly a necessity.

We are in year three of the pandemic and while unemployment is currently low, the long-term impact of job losses during those first two years, coupled with crippling inflation and record-breaking rent prices, is having a devastating effect on households, hitting low-income families especially hard. 

Each week, many have to choose between paying rent or buying food. Ritter Center helps families maintain their housing through services that provide rental assistance and nutritious food. For these families, school supplies are a luxury, when they’re truly a necessity. Having inadequate supplies or clothing sets kids up to fail in school; it can cause anxiety about not being prepared and damage their self-confidence amongst their peers, inhibiting their enthusiasm for education. 

Let’s help our local families put much-needed backpacks and school supplies in the hands of kids who need them. They need pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, calculators, clothing, and a backpack to carry to school.  

Due to the astronomical rate of inflation (9.1%), improving the quality of items provided, and providing a $50 gift card to each child for new school clothes, the cost of providing a fully-stocked backpack with supplies to $150 per child.

$50 = great school supplies (incl. pens, paper, folders + more.)

$100 = a quality new backpack + great school supplies

$150 = backpack + school supplies + $50 clothing gift card!

$300 = backpack kits + gift cards for 2 kids!

$750 = backpack kits + gift cards for 5 kids!

$1,500 = backpack kits + gift cards for 10 kids!

Our Backpack Collection Day is Back!

Also this year, we are bringing back our in-person Back to School Backpack collection day! On August 10, registered families will come to Ritter Center to select their new backpack and supplies. It’s one of the most joyful days and the smiles on kids’ faces says it all. Plus, Juice Girl Mill Valley is donating delicious smoothies for our families to enjoy on the day. Thank you for your support, Juice Girl!

Together, with the help of our beloved community of supporters, we can help our local kids feel confident and prepared to start a new school year. Make a meaningful donation today! 

Please do not mail gift cards to Ritter Center. Please donate online or send a check to:

Ritter Center
Back-to-School Program
PO Box 3517
San Rafael, CA  94912


Help us raise $25,000 to send 170 Marin kids back to school with brand new backpacks, clothing, and essential school supplies.


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