Help our nonprofit donate 750 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 3,500 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 720 filled backpacks donated in 2019. 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, and the Southwood Mobile Home Park, as well as to various Virginia public schools and individual/group requests.



Through her work, Lucia (now 20 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 is hoping to provide 750 students in need with a backpack and school supplies in order to better prepare them for school (however it may look), as well as relieve their parents and teachers of the heavy financial burden of back-to-school shopping!


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! Contact us for delivery/shipping instructions. See below for our 2020 school supply wish list:

  • Backpacks

  • Filler paper (wide & college ruled)

  • Spiral notebooks (wide & college ruled)

  • Composition notebooks (wide & college ruled)

  • Graph paper 

  • Pocket folders

  • Binder tab dividers

  • Scientific calculators

  • Pencil boxes (plastic)

  • Pencil pouches

  • #2 Pencils

  • Pens

  • Cap erasers

  • Block erasers

  • Glue sticks

  • Liquid school glue

  • Washable markers

  • Crayons

  • Colored pencils

  • Expo dry erase markers

  • Highlighters

  • Index cards

  • Rulers

  • Scotch tape

  • USB flash drives

  • Protractor & compass sets

  • Colorful construction paper

  • Earbuds & headphones

  • Post-it notes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Clorox wipes

  • Tissue boxes

  • Ziploc bags

  • Books suitable for grades K-5th


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Mailing/Shipping Address:

Backpack Buddies

1615 Kenwood Lane

Charlottesville, VA 22901

Contact us for volunteering address.

Phone Number: (434) 242-8557

Social Media Links:

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© Backpack Buddies, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 47-2249014.

Charlottesville, Virginia