LIFT-Los Angeles’ Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway

By Araceli Lopez-Andrade, Christina Garcia on September 5, 2017

Categories: Events, Our Work


It is that time of year again when first day jitters are felt by children and parents alike, and any support for getting through those first days of school is welcomed. In an effort to prepare LIFT families with the resources they would need for tackling the back-to-school season, LIFT-Los Angeles recently hosted their 2nd annual Backpack Giveaway. In partnership with Lazard, GOOD+ Foundation, Baby2Baby, City National Bank, Wildwoods Foundation, the Andrade family, Every Child’s Dream Foundation and Delivering Good out of New York, nearly 100 backpacks full of school supplies were given out to 43 LIFT families.

The transformative giveaway celebrated education for both children and parents. LIFT kiddos took part in a range of activities, including a reading circle where they heard the story of Curious George saving his pennies and an activity in which they created their own piggy banks. Concurrently, parents heard the story of City Year, Los Angeles’ Program Director Sergio Hernandez, M.S. and his journey of being the first generation college student in his family. While studying as an undocumented student, through hard work and the advocacy of his parents at every step, Sergio accomplished being the first Latino president of his high school and the first to obtain a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Seeing himself in the children at LIFT-Los Angeles, he dedicated his successes to the LIFT parents in the room and instilled in them the belief that their children can achieve just as much as he and even more. The event concluded with the children receiving their backpacks and taking family photos holding a sign that read “I will go to college and graduate class of _ _ _ _” representing the year they would graduate from college.

Thank you to all of the families in attendance including Elizabeth Thomas from City National Bank, LIFT-Los Angeles Board Member Jessica Jackley and her family. A special LIFT UP goes out to LIFT-New York Executive Director Unique Brathwaite and National Board Chair Stephen Rotella for their collaboration in making this back-to-school Backpack Giveaway such a success. It is events like these that continue to motivate LIFT’s mission to empower families and further our belief in parents and their children’s bright futures.

Check out photos from this event over on Flickr.

About the Authors

Araceli Lopez-Andrade

As Program Director of LIFT-Los Angeles, Araceli manages all program delivery and member services. She will supervise a diverse team of program staff members, fellows and volunteers while developing and strengthening partnerships with community partners. In her role, she will help develop, guide and implement program activities that will meet the organization’s goals. Araceli LIFTs because Read More

Christina Garcia

Christina is a Program Coordinator for LIFT-Los Angeles. Her responsibilities include member management, which means she is the main liaison between the members and the office. She identifies members’ needs and connects them to incoming resources and she creates, implements and manages programs to increase member retention. She also spends half of her time conducting member Read More