top of page


Help our nonprofit donate backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need!



In the spring of 2010, nine-year-old Lucia Hoerr ('loo-sha her') was shopping for extra school supplies with her mom and older sister. After Lucia spent over an hour excitedly picking out her fun new notebooks and colorful erasers, Lucia's mom mentioned that many families in their community probably couldn't afford the expensive backpack and school supplies required for back-to-school. For the past couple of years, Lucia had been looking for ways to give back to people in her town of Charlottesville, Virginia. Unfortunately, she was too young to volunteer anywhere and she didn't have any money of her own to donate.

When Lucia learned on that day that many of her peers don't get to experience the fun of back-to-school shopping, and that many children suffer academically and socially without the proper school supplies, Lucia knew what she needed to do. The following week, with the full (but somewhat skeptical) support of her parents and older sister, as well as lots of help from teachers and classmates, Lucia started Backpack Buddies. She never imagined what it would become...

Over the past decade, Backpack Buddies has donated more than 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to Virginia students (preK-12th grade) in need. Backpack Buddies has grown from just 61 filled backpacks donated in 2010 to more than 820 filled backpacks donated in 2021. Backpack Buddies enlists the help of dozens of youth and adult volunteers to help raise money, collect donations, spread the word, and fill backpacks with school supplies every year. The completely packed backpacks are then distributed at the end of each summer to kids in need at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, the Charlottesville International Rescue Committee (IRC), International Neighbors, United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), ReadyKids, the Southwood Mobile Home Community, and many other various Virginia public schools and individual/group requests.

Lucia Hoerr Backpack Buddies 2010
Lucia hoerr backpack buddies 2020

Through her work, Lucia (now 22 years old) has also inspired two other teenagers to start their own branches of Backpack Buddies in California and North Carolina!

This year, Backpack Buddies hopes to provide 850+ local students in need with backpacks filled with school supplies! 


Backpack Buddies relies on donations from individuals like YOU to continue serving our community! 

Use the buttons below to donate online now via Venmo or PayPal. Both are quick, easy, and secure! 

Monetary donations by way of cash or check can be mailed to
1615 Kenwood Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Want to donate backpacks & school supplies?

We love in-kind donations! They can be shipped to or dropped off at the Charlottesville address above. See below for our school supply wish list:

  • Backpacks

  • Filler paper 

  • Spiral notebooks 

  • Composition notebooks 

  • Pocket folders

  • Binder tab dividers

  • Pencil boxes (plastic)

  • Pencil pouches

  • Pencils

  • Pens

  • Erasers

  • Glue sticks

  • Washable markers

  • Crayons

  • Colored pencils

  • Expo dry erase markers

  • Highlighters

  • Index cards

  • Rulers

  • USB flash drives

  • Earbuds & headphones

  • Post-it notes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Clorox wipes

  • Tissue boxes

  • Ziploc bags

  • Books



Thanks for submitting!


Mailing/Shipping Address:

Backpack Buddies

1615 Kenwood Lane

Charlottesville, VA 22903

Contact us for volunteering address.

Phone Number: (434) 242-8557

Social Media Links:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
bottom of page