INDIANAPOLIS — Like many other services and organizations, the Indy Backpack Attack has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indianapolis organization that helps provide school supplies for children typically starts gathering materials at the start of the school year. But, with COVID-19, they'll be changing the way they help the community.
Every year, Indy Backpack Attack asks for donations of backpacks, notebooks, colored pencils - you name it.
Around 30,000 kids benefit from the collection of school supplies by the organization each year.
"With COVID19, we're afraid with all the touches on the supplies ... you go shopping, you put it in a bin, somebody else gets it," Mandy Emery, an Indy Backpack Attack committee member, said.
To eliminate the issue of supplies trading hands over and over again in the donation process, Indy Backpack Attack is asking for all monetary donations this year so that they can buy school supplies in bulk.
"Then we can ship it straight to the schools with very limited touching of the actual supplies," Emery said.
The Indy Backpack Attack committee had to make that adaptation to protect not only the students but the volunteers, school faculty and parents as well. The group will also be cutting back the number of volunteers they work with to allow for more space.
"Purchasing those in bulk, we'll actually know what we're getting in, so we don't have to actually count anything and sort it we'll know exactly what we have and know the distribution plan," Tiffany Dial, an Indy Backpack Attack committee member, said.
The goal is to raise $300,000 with the hope of raising the first 75,000 by Wednesday. The group wants to collect monetary donations by July 24 so there is plenty of time to put in bulk orders for supplies and ship them to the schools before the school year starts - even though right now it's unclear if kids will even be back in the classrooms.
The virtual kickoff event for the 2020 school supply drive kicks off Wednesday at 8 a.m.