CAMDEN – In what has become an annual back-to-school tradition, members of the Cooper University healthcare team and other donors raised money to buy backpacks and school supplies for all students enrolled at KIPP Lanning Square Primary, KIPP Lanning Square Middle, KIPP Sumner Elementary, KIPP Hatch Middle and KIPP Cooper Norcross High School as part of the Foundation’s annual Backpacking Rush.
“At Cooper, we are committed to improving the quality of life in our community, and Operation Backpack shows that this commitment goes beyond health,” said George E. Norcross III, Chairman of the Board of Cooper.
“Cooper’s mission is to serve, to heal, to educate, and that includes supporting the youth of our community. Providing students with backpacks and school supplies gives them the foundation for a successful school year,” said Philip A. Norcross, Esq., Chairman of the Board of the Cooper Foundation.
Since 2013, Cooper team members and donors have participated in the Cooper Foundation’s Operation Backpack. The initiative began as a fundraising campaign where team members and departments donated backpacks and school supplies to students in Camden. In 2020, to ensure everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic, The Cooper Foundation began soliciting monetary donations and using those funds to order backpacks and school supplies. This allowed the Cooper Foundation to provide students with the exact items their teachers said they would need for the upcoming school year.
“Each year, Cooper team members look forward to participating in the Operation Backpack initiative. We are grateful for their continued support,” said Robert A. Ortiz Jr., JD, senior vice president and chief operating officer. philanthropy of the Cooper Foundation.
“We so appreciate partners like the Cooper Foundation who understand the critical need for school supplies, especially with inflation prices rising. School supply donations like these help our students start the year off right and set themselves up for success,” said Drew Martin, Executive Director of KIPP New Jersey.
Backpacks and school supplies were delivered to each of the beneficiary schools and distributed to students at the start of the year.