Local kids stock up at Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thousands of military families are walking into the new school year with all the supplies they need, thanks to Operation Homefront.

Since 2008, Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade has distributed more than a quarter-million backpacks — accompanied by school supplies — to military children. The national nonprofit has already started distributing more than 25,000 backpacks and necessary supplies at more than 50 Back to School Brigade events nationwide in 2017. Soon, the organization will give away its 300,000th backpack.

A Deloitte survey found the average U.S. shopper will spend $501 on school supplies.

Friday, the organization stopped by Lincoln Military Housing in Norfolk to give away 1,250 backpacks to children.

Shannon Stinson, the program coordinator, says this is all made possible because of generous donors.

“It adds up and it could help them pay a light bill, it could their bills stretch a little farther, so they can take that backpack and their kids can start off the school year on a better foot.”

Isabella and her mom Nicole Godwin appreciate this pink backpack.

“It makes us feel very grateful that people donate and give back to us and the struggles that we go through everyday,” said Godwin.

David Beitzel is heading into the seventh grade and says he knows the feeling of not having everything he wanted come school time.

“I feel blessed honestly, when I was starting first grade I didn’t have any of this stuff,” said Beitzel. “It feels like my wishes for other people have come true. Now I know that I can rely that people don’t have to feel like I was feeling back then.”

For more information on Operation Homefront, click here.