Sacred Heart in San Jose handing out 3,300 backpacks today

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Sacred Heart Community Service is hosting its annual backpack giveaway today. The non-profit will hand out 3,300 backpacks and school supplies to help kids get ready for school.

"We met our goal of 3,300 backpacks. We got lots of USBs donated by a bunch of companies in the last couple of days so that's been helping us meet our goals," said Bianka Mariles, the family engagement coordinator at Sacred Heart.

This is the 17th year Sacred Heart has handed out backpacks and school supplies. But organizers say there is more to this giveaway than just what the kids carry out of the center today.

"Our hashtag is 'it begins with a backpack'. There's lots more that goes into it year round such as the education programs we have at Sacred Heart to help with tutoring, help parents get connected with teachers and in school district. Yes we are supplying them with backpacks but that's
only the beginning. A lot more goes into supporting a kid throughout the school year," Mariles said.

They will have a resource fair in the courtyard today where different non-profits will be on hand to meet with families about their needs.

Sacred Heart is extending its outreach this year to teachers. The non-profit has also bundled up donations into a kit to give teachers to help them supply their classrooms.

"Teacher kits are brand new this year. We heard about reports that teachers spend up to 500 dollars out of their own pockets just to supply their classrooms with tissues boxes, dry erase markers, things like that. So our goal is to help these teachers with that financial strain, providing them with a basket that contains those supplies," said Mariles.

They have 500 teacher kits filled with items like post-it notes and scented markers.

All backpacks are already spoken for this year. The reservation deadline was July 19.

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