Helpline House looks for help on Project Backpack

Through Project Backpack, Helpline House has provided more than 1,400 Bainbridge students in need with school supplies since 2000. - Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review
Through Project Backpack, Helpline House has provided more than 1,400 Bainbridge students in need with school supplies since 2000.
— image credit: Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review

Organizers are gearing up for Helpline House’s annual Project Backpack. The annual drive begins Aug. 1.

Last year, 182 Bainbridge Island students in need were assisted with essential school supplies and education-related expenses through the program.

Since 2000, more than 1,400 Bainbridge students have started the school year equipped to reach their potential  because of our community’s generous support.

The average cost to provide a backpack and basic school supplies is about $100 per student, more for older students. This is a big expense for an already stretched family budget. Project Backpack assists not only with this initial expense but also with needed replacement or replenishing of school supplies throughout the year, as well as with school fees. Helpline House gratefully accepts donations of cash for Project Backpack throughout the year and of unused backpacks and school supplies during August.

Collection dates are Aug. 1 through Aug. 25. Donation stations are Helpline House and Paper Products. Local businesses are also encouraged to collect backpacks and school materials to deliver to Helpline House by Aug. 25.

Most needed are medium-sized backpacks, filler paper, notebooks and binders; visit for a current list of most needed supplies. Questions may also be addressed to Debbie at or 206-842-7621, or walk-in at 282 Knechtel Way NE, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The program is open to students attending Bainbridge Island schools.

To receive assistance through Project Backpack, registration is required and will be available Friday, Aug. 1 through Wednesday, Aug. 20. Supplies will be distributed the week before school starts. To sign up to receive assistance, please go to or call Helpline House at 206-842-7621.

This year, Helpline House welcomes Bainbridge Island Rotary as a new community sponsor.

Continuing community partners on Project Backpack include Island Fitness, Paper Products, Bainbridge Island Windermere, Ace Hardware, Wildernest and Gear Stash.

Islanders can also look for donation coin boxes at Paper Products and at the T&C espresso stand.


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