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Operation Backpack is getting ready to start up ​for the ​19​th year. Please help us to get the information out to the community. 

Last summer, Operation Backpack assisted 802 students with back to school supplies during summer distribution. 

This year, School supplies will be available at the AEC "GYM" for McDowell County School students, K-12, July 24th - August 10th; Monday - Thursday 9am - 4pm. (Eastfield will have supplies available at Meet The Teacher/Open House on July 12th for their students in need.) Supplies will ONLY be available during the summer on these days. If unable to come during these days and times, supplies will be available at each school when school starts. Please see the school Counselor, Principal, or your student's teacher to request school supplies once school starts.

Backpack Summer Distribution Information: 2011-2016 
Number of students assisted during summer distribution:

Year # of Students 
2011 (631) 
2012 (855) 
2013 (623) 
2014 (646) 
2015 (740) 
2016 (802) 

This direct student assistance was only possible because of our giving and caring community! 

Originally organized in 1998 and administrated by the Endowment Fund of the Public Schools of McDowell County, the goal of Operation Backpack is to provide all underprivileged children in McDowell County Public Schools with a new backpack and school supplies. Through the gracious giving of our community and others, school supply assistance has been provided directly to over 600 McDowell County School students each year. It is our wish that no child returns to school without the necessary supplies. Although the majority of the supplies are distributed during the a few weeks prior to school starting, Operation Backpack is a year-round project and will supply students all year when needs arise. Supplies that are given to students include, but are not limited to: Backpacks, 3 ring binders, notebook paper, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, erasers, ballpoint pens, pencils: #2 & colored, 24 count crayons, glue- bottles & sticks, safety scissors, markers, and pencil boxes/pouches.

Supplies and monetary donations are very much appreciated! These donation may be dropped off or mailed to the McDowell Board of Education, 334 South Main Street, Marion, NC 28752. Checks should be made out to The Endowment Fund and indicated for Operation Backpack.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Melanie Dunham at 828-652-4535 x106 or