Operation Backpack

Our goal is to get as many full backpacks into the hands of homeless and at-risk students as possible before their first day of school.

Operation Backpack® has been an annual initiative of Volunteers of America Michigan (VOAMI) since 2009. It is aimed at providing backpacks, school supplies, and optimism to children belonging to low income households or those who have encountered homelessness in the Metro Detroit area. We work with community partners from across the state to come together and collect supplies.

Donate now to give full backpacks to students in need

Students who have the necessary supplies, such as pencils, notebooks, and backpacks, are better prepared to engage in classroom activities and complete assignments. Without these supplies, children may struggle to keep up with their peers and may experience stress and anxiety that can negatively impact their academic performance. Furthermore, students who lack appropriate school supplies may feel embarrassed or ashamed, which can affect their self-esteem and motivation to succeed. Providing students with the necessary school supplies can help level the playing field and give every student an equal opportunity to succeed academically.

Your kindness can shine in making sure students have their own supplies and everything they need to learn. Not only would your kindness be helping children, but you would also help struggling parents breathe a sigh of relief.

Operation Backpack® 2024 Sign Up

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There are many ways that you, family, friends, and colleagues can participate in Operation Backpack® and help a child in need:

Host a Donation Drive

1. Sign up! Fill out the form below to sign up to host a backpack or supply drive.

2. Identify your team members. Start raising awareness in your office or group of your drive and gather team members.
3. Set team goals.
4. Raise awareness. Post on social media and distribute flyers to get your community involved. You can download flyers and program materials below.
5. Let’s go! Gather as many backpacks, supplies, and donations as possible.
6. Schedule a drop off. Please deliver all supplies and backpacks to VOAMI Southfield office at 21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 306, Southfield, MI 48076. To schedule your drop-off time, click here, or email us at volunteers@voami.org.

All supplies must be dropped off at our Southfield location or mailed directly to the office.

Purchase Supplies

1. Shop & Drop Off (see below):
Purchase items from our supply list on your own and drop them off at the VOAMI Southfield office at 21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 306, Southfield, MI 48076. To schedule your drop-off time click here, or email us at volunteers@voami.org.

2. Shop on Amazon:
Easily add items to your Amazon cart. You can pick what supplies you buy from our list and they will be shipped directly to our office. If you purchase from our wishlist, please make sure you put your name, email, and phone in the ‘Gift Message’ box.

3. Shop at our online store:
We partner with Roonga™ to make shopping convenient. You can purchase grade specific supply kits or pre-filled backpacks. The items purchased through this store front will shipped directly to us at our office in time for the first day of school.

More Ways to Get Involved


Your support and monetary donations are critical in changing the lives of our most vulnerable students across the state. You have the power to make our world a better place and give at-risk and homeless students a chance.


You have the chance to make a difference and be a part of something bigger! By sponsoring Operation Backpack® you provide support for VOAMI to make it happen. Don’t miss our Backpack Buddy sponsor opportunity for children to help support their peers!


You can personally sort and pack backpacks, and even write notes of encouragement to set children up for success. Operation Backpack® relies on the kindness of individuals just like you to make the biggest impact possible. Volunteer Weeks: We will have volunteer opportunities available August 7-11 & August 14-18. Stay tuned, volunteer opportunity sign up will be available soon.


Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (248) 204-6042 • volunteers@voami.org
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