Last summer, Operation Backpack assisted 802 McDowell students with back to school supplies during summer distribution. This year’s distribution is scheduled to begin Monday, July 24.

School supplies will be available at the Alternative Education Center gym for McDowell County School students kindergarten through 12th grade on Monday, July 24th through Thursday, Aug. 10; Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Operation Backpack equips students with a book bag, three-ring binders, notebook paper, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, erasers, pens, No. 2 pencils and colored, crayons, glue, scissors, makers and pencil boxes or pouches. These items can be distributed and donated throughout the year.

Supplies and monetary donations are accepted all year long. Donations may be dropped off or mailed to the McDowell Board of Education at 334 S. Main St. in Marion. Checks can be made out to The Endowment Fund marked for Operation Backpack.

 Number of students assisted during summer distribution:

Year ----Number of Students

2011 ---- 631

2012---- 855




2016 --- 802

 About the Endowment Fund:

Originally organized in 1998, and administrated by the Endowment Fund of the Public Schools of McDowell County, the goal of Operation Backpack is to provide all underprivileged children in McDowell County Public Schools with a new backpack and school supplies. Through the gracious giving of our community and others, school supply assistance has been provided directly to over 600 McDowell County School students each year. It is our wish that no child returns to school without the necessary supplies. Although the majority of the supplies are distributed during the few weeks prior to school starting, Operation Backpack is a year-round project and will supply students all year when needs arise.

 List of supplies needed throughout the year:


3-ring binders

24-count crayons

Glue (bottles and sticks)

Ballpoint pens

Notebook paper

#2 and colored pencils

Safety scissors

Spiral notebooks

Composition books

Pencil boxes/pouches



Post-it Notes

Pocket Folders