Local student’s backpack drive ends with summer Staples party

The Backpack Giveback has collected hundreds of backpacks for low-income students.
(Kalia Roper)

After launching a Backpack Giveback for students in San Diego who struggle to afford school supplies, a middle school student at St. James Academy is partnering with Staples in Solana Beach for a Summer Weekend Party on Aug. 13-15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

“Kids are coming in from the Boys & Girls Club and they can decorate their own backpacks,” said Kalia Roper, who has also raised more than $1,000 on GoFundMe.

In addition, the event will feature school supply discounts, music, food and crafts.

Kalia started the initiative after finding eight old backpacks in her attic and learning that many families struggled to afford school supplies. So far, she has collected about 300 used donations and some new, including 40 new backpacks from the brand O’Neill, through Hansen’s in Encinitas.

Backpack donation boxes will be available until Aug. 15 at all Staples and Geppetto’s locations, Lomas Santa Fe Country Club, Lazy Acres in Encinitas, and the Solana Beach Library.

Beneficiaries of the backpack drive include the Emilio Nares Foundation, which helps low-income families, and Father Joe’s Villages, which provides assistance to local residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Staples in Solana Beach is located at 681 San Rodolfo Drive. For more information about the Backpack Giveback, visit backpackgiveback.com and gofund.me/6f39922b. For more information about the Summer Weekend Party, email jessica.tufts@staples.com.