El Paso Organization's Backpack and School Supply Drive Draws a Crowd - Down River Resources

El Paso Organization's Backpack and School Supply Drive Draws a Crowd

Howdy, friends.

I just returned from the back to school charitable event of the year! Despite a dreary start to the day after being in Flash Flood Warnings all weekend, The Northeast Youth Stride for Success Foundation held their Third Annual School Supply Drive today at the neighborhood Kmart.

Upon parking my car, the sight of little bitty cheerleaders in their bedazzled outfits filled me with joy. I got out of my school supply-packed car to hear the shouts of "Thank you!" as people donated backpacks and school supplies galore.

The organizers of the event promptly assisted me carry the boxes of school supplies I donated. I stayed around the drive for a while surmising the crowd to get a feel for the reaction of this event from the community. I was very impressed with the organizers, volunteers, and the residents in the Northeast.  Plastic boxes in the hands of varsity cheerleaders quickly filled up as the hearts of community members opened. They greeted K-mart customers as they entered the store and thanked them as they exited. Customers left goods they purchased for the drive or their change for backpacks to be purchased with it.

All the while, handmade posters adorned street corners. Football players and cheerleaders gathered from Irvin and Andress High Schools, two competitive Northeast teams. Normally, a rivalry exists between the two teams as they go head-to-head in the annual Battle of the Helmets. They put their helmets down and formed one team for one cause--giving backpacks and school supplies to students in need in their neighborhoods.

The tiny tots that greeted Kmart customers represent the Northeast Raiders, a city cheerleading team. The junior-varsity and varsity cheerleaders wore their black and hold uniforms from Parkland High School.

Event organizer, 27-year-old veteran Rick Ramirez, spoke of the event as a "complete community effort." This was evident in my time at the event.
As I hung around watching this fruitfulness unfold, a large purple character arrived, Grimace, from McDonalds, and a team from Cricket Wireless. The Nike Outlet donated $25 gift cards which were raffled. Little Caesar's fed volunteers. This particular Kmart allowed the organization to purchase backpacks and supplies from their store with the money they raised at a discount.

Ramirez told me a story of a homeless man who passed their tables earlier in the morning. He came by and pulled out the change left in his pocket and donated it for the Northeast  kids to have new backpacks and school supplies. This is the generosity that exists in West Texas.

I was very impressed with the community supporting this event to help students in El Paso. I am proud to be a West Texan.

May your backpacks overflow of blessings in the school year.

Happy Donating!


  1. I loved reading this! I graduated from Parkland in 1983, and had some friends that went to Andress and Irvin.
    Have a great back to school!

  2. Thanks, Karen! I was thinking of you while as I there as I remembered that you were a PHS alumni! Wishing you the best in the new school year also!

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