Operation Homefront’s annual Back to School Brigade is open for registration as military kids get ready for the start of the 2016 to 2017 school year.
The non-profit is giving away backpacks full of school supplies at distribution locations across the U.S., including Alaska. Last year they gave out more than 25,000.
Dollar Tree locations help them collect donations for the bags between July 5 and August 11, and distribution events start July 22. They organization also has an Amazon wishlist from which people can easily donate.
Twenty five thousand is a whole lot of backpacks going to kids, but as you can imagine just like any free event, this one isn’t available everywhere and fills up super fast.
So how do you get in on it?
First, visit Operation Homefront’s list of events to see if there is one at your base.
To attend one of these you must register, organization officials said. That means following the link on the event you see, logging into Operation Homefront, and signing up. Registration fills super fast, so make sure you sign-up soon.
Like many events, this one is only open to certain pay grades. And although which ones may very slightly by location, officials said, generally this particular program is open to E1 through E6. Your kids must be registered in DEERS to take part, and they need to be school-aged … sorry, preschool parents.
If you do get to take part in this event, make sure you check the backpack for a little tidbit from the organization on their annual Military Child of the Year awards. Nominations open in October, they said, and you’ll be getting a flyer in the backpack on how to nominate your kid.