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Fourth Annual Build-A-Backpack to run through Aug.8

By Gloria Kwizera | JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs | July 30, 2014

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The fourth annual Build-a-Backpack program, which provides school supplies to children on base and in the local community, is in full swing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph.

Anyone interested in donating a backpack with school supplies is welcome to do so until Aug.8.

The program began in 2010 to help ease the stress on junior enlisted military members, especially those with multiple school age children, said Lori Phipps, JBSA-Lackland military dependent education specialist.

"Our goal is to give the children of military and local community families the opportunity to start school with all the supplies they need to be successful," Phipps said.
Active duty Airmen E-5 and below and E-6 and above, with more than three dependents, are eligible to sign up to receive backpacks.

"Also eligible are children of service members currently deployed, on extended temporary duty or on a remote tour of duty and members experiencing unique circumstances or hardships," said Phipps.

First Sergeants should contact the school liaison office at Lackland.slo@us.af.mil with names of potential families to receive a donated backpack. Information must include the squadron, sponsor's name and the age group and gender of the child or children who will receive the backpack.

To donate, pick up a list at the school liaison office or print one at http://www.jbsa.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130731-032.pdf. Then, choose either 'List A' for grades kindergarten through grade 5- or 'List B' for grades 6 through 12, purchase all of the items on the list for that age group, place the shopping list of the selected age group and gender in the backpack for identification and drop off the backpack at the Military & Family Readiness Center at JBSA- Lackland or JBSA-Randolph, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than 200 backpacks were donated and distributed last year, however the drive was not as success as in the past due to the furlough and government shutdown. More than 60 children at Sun Valley Elementary and 57 military families all with multiple children received backpacks last year.
"This year the goal is to double last year's success, we encourage everyone to participate. It's easy, just print the listing and fill the backpack!" said Phipps.
Backpack distribution is tentatively scheduled for the week of Aug. 11 - 15.

For more information and to receive the listings contact the JBSA School Liaison Office at 210-671-3722 or email Lackland.slo@us.af.mil.