#kindness1billion: Huntington Beach High School educators fill backpacks at annual donation drive

While students are gearing up for their new class schedules, affordable school supplies are becoming harder to come by with families in the U.S. expected to pay more than ever before this back-to-school season. 

To provide assistance to children who need it most, Huntington Beach High School administrators lent helping hands to local nonprofit organization Project Hope Alliance for its annual backpack drive. 

Principal Daniel Morris, Assistant Principals Dave Yonts and Brenna Orr, and special programs administrator Stacey Robison visited the Project Hope Alliance offices on Aug. 2 to pack backpacks with new school supplies, including pencil pouches, binders and notebooks for youth experiencing homelessness. Through donating these supplies, the organization hopes that every student will start the school year with the tools and confidence to thrive in and out of the classroom. 

Huntington Beach High started partnering with the Project Hope Alliance case management program in January to identify students facing homelessness in order to improve their academic success and overall well-being. In addition to providing access to food, transportation and clothing, the case managers work with administrators, teachers and staff on each school campus to offer support tailored to the students they serve. 

“HBHS is thrilled to have an additional resource to continue helping all of our students reach their potential and remove as many obstacles as possible so they may all find success,” Principal Morris said. 

Each item gathered for the drive came from community donations made out to the nonprofit, resulting in unique school bags for the students to store their new supplies. 

The backpacks they have filled will be distributed to 400 students from kindergarten to college experiencing homelessness throughout Orange County. In addition to their new stationeries, these students will also receive $100 Target gift cards. 

“With our partnership with Project Hope Alliance and their presence on our campus, HBHS staff has witnessed students, who might otherwise have given up, continue to persevere and attend school each day,” Morris continued. “Our identified students and families recognize that there is a space and dedicated advocate who understands the struggles and has the resources to meet the variety of needs that may arise.” 

For more information about Project Hope Alliance, visit https://projecthopealliance.org/.

We’re continuing to feature stories here as part of OCDE’s One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative. Be sure to submit yours at kindness1billion.org, and you can also share your good deeds on social media using the hashtag #kindness1billion.