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it may be only July, but the YMCA of Greater Houston is already thinking about going back to school.

Now in its 13th year, the YMCA's Operation Backpack is one of Texas’s largest back-to-school drives. Ahead of the fall semester, the goal is to provide supplies and backpacks to up to 120,000 children, their highest number to date, in 36 school districts.

Like any drive, YMCA Operation Backpack is not possible without donors. Supplies can cost up to $200 per student annually, yet more than 25 percent of Houston-area children ages 17 and under live in poverty.

To support the drive, which runs through August 11, Houstonians can do any of the following:

  • Make a monetary donation or purchase pre-packaged school supplies and a backpack at any participating H-E-B at the checkout stand. Your donation will directly support your local YMCA.
  • Text the word SCHOOL to 91999 to make a financial donation.
  • Visit ymcaoperationbackpack.org to make a financial donation.
  • Visit ymcaoperationbackback.org for a list of school supplies if you wish to purchase them individually. Supplies and backpacks can be dropped off at any YMCA or at designated sites specified on the YMCA website.
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