Back-to-School Program

Families picked up backpacks, uniforms, supplies and more at tables around the hall.

Back to School 2013 Photo Gallery

Photos by Jon Didier and Mo Cee


“For years, I’d skip the first three days of school. I didn’t have new things like the other kids. I figured after the first few days I could slide in unnoticed. It put me behind in my schoolwork, but it was worth it then. I still remember how it felt.”

So many years later, this volunteer’s memory is very vivid – and it’s what makes her want to be a part of our Back to School distribution every year.

You can probably still remember the fun of  getting ready to go back to school. But for many children in our community, it will be a less positive experience. In fact, they may be dreading school — because their families can’t afford even basic school clothes and supplies.

Together, we’re doing something about that. For the past 14 years, with the community’s help, we’ve made sure local kids from very low income families  go back to school equipped with brand new backpacks, clothing/uniforms, school supplies, even haircuts and manicures.

This year, some 1,800 local K-12 students are expected to pour into Santa Anita Park racetrack for our 15th Annual Back to School Distribution on August 13. With your help, we can make sure each one goes off to class with pride.

There’s nothing like poverty for creating low self-esteem. Children are quick to notice other students are wearing crisp new clothes and carrying new backpacks, pens, pencils and notebooks. Embarrassed, they may withdraw in class, making it much harder to learn.

You can help our drives by donating things our kids need — or make a monetary donation and let us use our buying power to stretch your dollars. From us and all the families you help us help, thank you!