By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Even though school has let out for the summer, Backpacks of Love is already hard at work preparing for the 2022-2023 school year. With support from Collin Street Bakery, the organization will be handing out school supplies 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2 and Wednesday, Aug 3 at the Cook Education Center, located on the Navarro College campus at 3100 W. Collin Street in Corsicana.

Backpacks of Love started in 2011 after a “We’re all in this together” meeting was held by United Way and Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. The group got together for a community wide school supply drive and distribution. Now in its twelfth year, Backpacks of Love works to ensure low-income families have the school supplies they need.

Chairman of the Committee Kristen Smith started with the drive by filling the backpacks with school supplies, an activity she did with her kids. Originally a teacher at Carroll Elementary School, Smith found the drive rewarding, and eventually joined Grace Community Church’s staff to become part of Backpack of Love’s committee.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t realize it’s for all of Navarro County,” Smith said. “It’s not a CISD thing.”

While Backpacks of Love serves all of Navarro County, Corsicana Independent School District has the largest represented need, as 77 percent of CISD children are considered low-income families. The organization plans to give out 2,400 backpacks with supplies to students ranging from Pre-K to twelfth grade.

With the broad range of ages, supply needs differ for each grade, and the group evaluates annually what requirements needs to be met.

“In a perfect world everybody would ask for the exact supplies, but in reality, that’s not exactly how it is,” Smith said. “We look at every district need. The last we to do is have parents pick this (the backpack) up and have to go buy another $200 worth of stuff,” Smith said.

The breakdown for the class backpacks are as follows:

Pre-K through first grade: 500 backpacks
Second through sixth grade: 1,000 backpacks
Seventh through twelfth grade: 900 backpacks

As Backpacks of Love gets closer to its August drive, the organization is active looking for adult volunteers, including those who can speak Spanish or Micronesian to service as many people in the community as possible. A new signup link of the organization’s Facebook page will become available closer to the event.

On the Web:

Backpacks of Love Facebook page

Please be sure to support those that support us here at the NCG and check out our advertisers:
CANA Girl Speaks Podcast | Warehouse Living Arts Center | Salvation Army | CWTP Copy Center I.O.O.F. Trade Days | Gallery Wah Wah

A big THANK YOU to our supporters.
If you too would like to help financially support the Navarro County Gazette please email us at

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: