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May 10, 2018

Chandler seeks donations and sponsors for annual Operation Back to School event

The City of Chandler Diversity Office, along with For Our City-Chandler and a volunteer committee, is gearing up for another Operation Back to School event on Saturday, July 21, at Chandler High School, 350 N. Arizona Ave.  

Operation Back to School (OBTS) is a one-day event where kids receive a free, brand-new backpack filled with school supplies to ensure Chandler students are ready with the supplies they need for the first day of school. Haircuts, uniforms, socks, shoes and underwear also are a few of the freebies students may receive during the event. 

“To succeed in school, every child must have the right supplies to prepare them to learn,” said Councilmember Kevin Hartke. “As a community, we come together to provide school supplies to any student that might go without.”

Nearly 3,000 families and students from 37 (of the 47 Chandler Unified schools) attended last year and more are expected to attend this coming year. In addition, more than 260 residents provided volunteer service to prepare for the event and nearly 50 nonprofits and local businesses made cash and in-kind donations.  

There are several ways to get involved for this year’s event, including:
  • Corporate sponsorships that range from $500 to $20,000; 
  • Make an online financial contribution (100 percent of monetary donations are used to purchase supplies for students);
  • Donate school supplies, shoes, socks or underwear from a recommended wish list;
  • Volunteer to assist with inventory and backpack stuffing prior to the event or the day-of event assistance.
Other ways to show support is to donate a new backpack filled with supplies from the City’s wish list, or conduct a backpack/supply drive at your workplace or organization.

To view a complete list of sponsorship opportunities, school supplies needed or volunteer opportunities, visit backtoschoolchandler.org. The website also has information on how to donate online. In addition, supplies can be dropped off at any of these collection sites in Chandler:
  • Environmental Education Center, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road
  • Tumbleweed Recreation Center, 745 E. Germann Road
  • Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road
  • Chandler City Hall, 175 S. Arizona Ave.
  • Snedigar Recreation Center, 4500 S. Basha Road
  • West Chandler Police Substation, 251 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. 
  • Hilton Chandler Mall, 2929 W. Frye Road
  • Crossroads Nazarene Church, 2950 W Ray Road
  • Aces Barber & Family Salon, 2100 W Chandler Blvd.
Collection sites for backpacks and school supplies will be open until Wednesday, July 11.  

For more information on OBTS Chandler, contact Niki Tapia with the City’s Diversity Office at niki.tapia@chandleraz.gov or 480-782-2214.