School supplies can be a significant cost especially for junior enlisted personnel and those with multiple children in the home who, based on relatively low military pay combined with high cost of living are already struggling to meet basic needs. We believe in ensuring that the often most impacted and vulnerable members of military and Coast Guard families, the children, deserve our support particularly with respect to their education. These children often face moving multiple times and changing schools or having a parent deploy causing anxiety. Providing them with the basic tools needed to participate in school is just one small way we can show they are supported by the community. collect donated supplies, pack and distribute backpacks. In 2017, we supplied more than 4,000 backpacks filled with school supplies across Massachusetts. The goal for 2018 is 10,000 backpacks. A small number of backpacks are held in reserve to support children who transfer into a new school during the school year. In this way, we start their new school experience off with a show of support from the community. Operation Backpack culminates in late August when all the backpacks are filled and distributed. This is an enormous undertaking, engaging hundreds of volunteers to receive, sort, assemble, and distribute the backpacks.