The 2018 Backpack Challenge

Heading back to high school or starting college is an exciting time! However, youth who are homeless or living in foster care it can be an extremely stressful. The Backpack Challenge is an opportunity for Philadelphia area businesses and residents to help these hard working young people get off to a great start and achieve academic success.

The Backpack Challenge is an annual community effort led by Valley Youth House which collects school supplies and backpacks for youth in foster care. Collection sites are identified around the Philadelphia metropolitan area to collect school supplies. Sponsorships and monetary donations cover the cost of laptops and additional college expenses for youth heading off to college from the Achieving Independence Center – a “one-stop” self-sufficiency center designed to help young people achieve their future goals.

We could not provide these important tools to youth without the support from our partners and sponsors.

Some of our partners include the Department of Human Services and our generous media partner, iHeartRadio, which donates air time to promote the campaign. Other partners host collection bins to encourage donations of school supplies. Tool Kits are provided to these partners, which include collection bins, promotional posters, supply check lists, and information about Valley Youth House.

We invite you to be a part of this exciting initiative which kicks off on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at John F. Kennedy Plaza, (Love Park), and closes with a ceremony to present youth with their backpacks on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.