Coachella Valley Rescue Mission’s Backpack Bonanza

Tiani Jadulang

INDIO — With almost 31 percent of the children in the Coachella Valley at or  below the poverty level, the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission looks to help them achieve academic success through their Backpack Bonanza program providing free backpacks and supplies to 2,500 low-income children on Saturday, August 6 starting at 7 a.m.

“Being prepared for school is crucial,” said Darla Burkett, Executive Director.  “After food and shelter, education for children is a critical factor in helping break the cycle of poverty and we are grateful to help the community fill this need.”

The Rescue Mission is hoping to distribute more than 2,500 backpacks to children in need and is looking to the community to support this effort. Boxes have been distributed at more than 100 locations throughout the Coachella Valley.  Participating organizations include all locations of Chase Bank and Bank of America, Indio City Hall and Police Department, Marker Broadcasting in Palm Desert, Agua Caliente Corporate Offices in Palm Springs, Southwest Community Church, Staples Locations in the Valley, as well as many other businesses and churches. Boxes will be in the valley until July 25th.

Backpacks and supplies can also be dropped off at the Rescue Mission itself, located at 47470 Van Buren St. in Indio, or an online donation designated for the Backpack Bonanza can be made on the website at . Backpacks themselves as well as spiral notebooks, yellow highlighters, pencil sharpeners, lined paper, and all other related supplies are needed. Donations of Backpacks and supplies are welcomed until August 4.

Of the homeless, 20 percent are children under the age of 18 and there are over 150,000 homeless public school students in California.

Since 1971, the Rescue Mission has strived to meet the ever-growing needs of individuals, who for a variety of reasons, have found themselves without the basic necessities of life. A dedicated staff and volunteers serve more than 198,000 hot meals annually and provide 72,000 nights of safe shelter to men, women and children. Food, clothing, and showers are also provided for those who do not shelter at the Mission. More information on how to help support the Rescue Mission, and their programs, can be found at

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