0 +
Backpacks given away since 2006!

For over 15 years, Merrick Community Services has hosted an Annual Backpack and School Supply Distribution event, preparing East Side Saint Paul youth for their next year of school.

Receive a FREE backpack for your child!

A new school year will soon be upon us. Join us at Merrick Community Services on
Saturday, August 19th for our Annual Backpack Giveaway event.

At the Event:

When: Saturday, August 19th, 2022 • 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Merrick Community Services, 1669 Arcade Street North, Saint Paul, 55106


Ways You Can Help:


An organization sponsorship in the amount of $250, $500 or $1,000 can go a long way in getting supplies and backpacks to East Side youth. Event sponsors will be acknowledged at the event, in our quarterly newsletter, on our website and will be given a table at our annual fundraising event. We are also seeking presenting sponsorship status which includes recognition at all three MCS events: Backpack Giveaway, Holiday Share and UpLift.

If interested, please contact Kate Kelly, Director of Development, at kkelly@merrickcs.org or at (651) 219-5557.

One-Time Gift

Give a one-time monetary gift which will go directly into purchasing school supplies and backpacks.

Donate New Backpacks and School Supplies

You can drop these off at Merrick Community Services between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm Monday through Thursday. Commonly needed supplies include:

Scientific Calculators/Graphing Calculators
USB Sticks
Mechanical Pencils
College lined notebooks
Ball point pens
3 ring binders
White out


To best serve our event attendees, we need volunteers to assist in distributing supplies and backpacks, directing traffic and being a welcoming presence.

Questions? Please contact Amy Votel at avotel@merrickcs.org or at (651) 348-6568.

Spread the Word! Get Creative!

Raising money or collecting donations for a worthy cause can be a way for colleagues, friends, or family to share a fun and meaningful activity together. Gather a group together and see which individual can raise the most money or collect the most school supplies. Don’t forget to celebrate the difference you’ve collectively made!

Know someone who would be interested in contributing to this event? Send them our way! We’d love to connect and share more about the importance of the event.


What’s the impact?

The joy of giving your time and treasure is that it will go directly to benefit East Side youth and families.

Statistics on the East Side are stark, reflecting economic disparities:

• MCS’ primary service area has one of the highest rates of food insecurity among Minnesota counties

• 10% of Ramsey County residents (1 in 10 adults) experience food insecurity. This is twice the rate of our surrounding metro counties.

• About 45% of East Side households are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line (about $49K for a family of 3)
• In 2021, approximately 25% of East Side working age adults were unemployed

Help a child get their school year off to a great start!​

For more information, contact:

Registration Questions:

Crystal Friedman
(651) 478-1089

Donation & Volunteer Questions:

Amy Votel
(651) 348-6568

Thank You to our Sponsors: