Are you ready to take the Challenge?

The 2017 Backpack Challenge will begin on July 25th and run through August 18th. Join us for kick off in Dilworth Park on July 25th at 12pm!

Last year, the Backpack Challenge collected over $200,000 worth of backpacks and school supplies, as well as $25,000+ for foster care youth heading back to school this fall. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our sponsors and supporters – thank you for a great year! Click for photos from the Kick Off and Closing Ceremony.

The Backpack Challenge raises funds and collects essential back to school items for foster care youth. From its humble beginnings, the Backpack Challenge has grown from a small collection drive to a national program due to the strong partnership between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Five Below, iHeartRadio, and Valley Youth House.

The Backpack Challenge gives young people in foster care the tools needed to pursue and achieve their educational goals through the support of their own communities. From 2013 to 2016 in Philadelphia, the number of collection site partners more than doubled and we raised over $100,000 for local youth.

National Expansion

In 2015, we welcomed new partners in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit and raised over 10,000 backpacks in all five markets. In 2016, we welcomed Houston, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham and Washington, DC. 28,256 backpacks were collected across all markets thanks to the help of Five Below. Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and more will be joining us in 2017!

Think you’re up for the challenge? Donate now at or look below for a collection site near you !

2017 Backpack Challenge Collection Sites

Sponsor or Host a Collection Site

Information on sponsorships can be found here. If you’re interested in hosting a collection site or would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, email MaryGrace Joyce at

Thank you to our amazing 2016 sponsors: NORR, Trinseo, Northeast Treatment Centers and Royal Bank!

Want to help?

You can make a monetary donation, donate school supplies online via Roonga, or visit one of our collection site partners to drop off your donation.

When visiting your local Five Below store, you can donate a backpack at the register during checkout!