For the second year in a row, OAR will be hosting a back-to-school drive to collect new backpacks and school supplies for children who have a parent incarcerated locally. OAR introduced this program, “Project Backpack,” last year in an effort to offer another way for parents who are incarcerated to connect with their child(ren). We were able to serve over 170 children through this program last year, and we are excited to continue Project Backpack to collect supplies for the 2019-2020 school year.

Project Backpack is such a crucial program because many children with a parent experiencing incarceration live in poverty and cannot afford even the basic necessities for their education. With the help of the community, we can ensure that these children get the supplies they need to succeed in school. Through this program, each child will receive a brand new backpack filled with age-appropriate school supplies as well as a handwritten note from the parent incarcerated, letting the child know that they are not forgotten. Children under the age of five will be given new backpacks filled with age-appropriate books.

How to get involved with Project Backpack:

  1. Donate new backpacks and school supplies! Donations can be made through our Project Backpack Amazon Wishlist and mailed directly to the OAR office (1400 N. Uhle St., Suite 704, Arlington, VA 22201) or visit any of the Project Backpack donation box locations set up at businesses, faith communities, and civic organizations throughout the community! (Donation box locations soon to come!)
  2. Host a donation box! We are currently seeking sites (businesses, apartment complexes, community centers, faith communities, etc) to host a donation box to help us collect items for Project Backpack. If you are interested in hosting a donation box, or if you know a business we should connect with, please let us know. We will provide all the materials you need (including the box). Email Stephannie Ku at sku@oaronline.org if interested.
  3. Make a financial contribution! Funding helps pay for things like mailing the supplies to children who live outside of the local delivery area and for purchasing extra supplies if necessary to ensure that each child in the program receives a new backpack filled with supplies. Donations can be made on our website here. Please list “Project Backpack” in the “Comments” section on the donation page.
  4. Donate books and gift cards! We will be collecting age-appropriate books and gift cards to give to children under the age of 5. Gift cards to Target and Amazon are most helpful!
  5. Volunteer! Volunteers are needed throughout the month of June and August to help deliver and pick-up donation boxes around the community and to assist with administrative duties such as calling guardians of the children to confirm delivery information. This can be arranged during OAR’s business hours or on weekday evenings. Contact Heather Pritchett at hpritchett@oaronline.org for all volunteer inquiries.

Donation Box Site Locations: 

  • Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) Ballston Branch
    • 4121 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA
  • Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) Columbia Pike Branch
    • 5666 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA
  • Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) Glebe Branch
    • 2130 N. Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA
  • Arlington County Sheriff’s Office
    • 1425 N. Courthouse Rd, #9100, Arlington, VA
  • Advantage Trainers
    • 100A E. Fairfax St, Falls Church, VA
  • Arlington Central Library
    • 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA
  • Aurora Hills Library
    • 735 S. 18th St, Arlington, VA
  • Bethel UCC
    • 300 N. Montague St, Arlington, VA
  • Christ Church of Arlington
    • 3020 N. Pershing Dr, Arlington, VA
  • CoCreate Studios
    • 3140 Washington Blvd, STE 222, Arlington, VA
  • Columbia Pike Library
    • 816 S. Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA
  • EagleBank Ballston
    • 4420 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA
  • Eagle Hill Consulting
    • 241 18th St S., Suite 615, Arlington, VA
  • Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • 6201 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA
  • Presto Valet
    • 1623 N. Quaker Ln, Alexandria, VA
  • Segue Technologies
    • 2300 Wilson Blvd, #420, Arlington, VA
  • Shirlington Library
    • 4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206
  • Strategic National Title Group
    • 6870 Elm St, #100, McLean, VA
  • TTR Sotheby’s
    • 400 S. Washington St, Alexandria, VA
  • Walter Reed Community Center
    • 2909 16th St. S, Arlington, VA
  • Woman’s Club of Arlington
    • 700 S. Buchanan St, Arlington, VA

You are directly supporting children and families impacted by the criminal justice system through your support of Project Backpack. Please help us spread the word about this program!