40 Tons of Backpacks and School Supplies Collected for Katrina’s Youngest Victims

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16,000 students involved in Operation BuddyPack.

With a shipment being sent to Dallas, Texas, today, the Heart of America Foundation has collected and distributed 40 tons of books, backpacks, school supplies and toiletries for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Fifteen thousand students have been involved in this process.

Thousands of children from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region had their lives shattered by Hurricane Katrina. Children from the Washington, DC metro area and other parts of the country wanted to help. The Heart of America Foundation® organized Operation BuddyPack for this purpose.

“The nation’s children watched this tragedy unfold for children in the Gulf Coast area. Through Operation BuddyPack, they learned they could do something about this catastrophe and by extension any other concern they may have,” said Angie Halamandaris, President and co-founder of the Heart of America Foundation®.

Backpacks and school supplies were packed and shipped from Washington, DC and delivered by the Heart of America’s Ambassadors (exemplary young adults) and local volunteers to Katrina’s Kids in Houston and Dallas, Texas; Baton Rouge and Livingston, Louisiana, and schools in 6 counties in Mississippi. This effort was supported by NBC-4, ClearChannel, WASH-FM, Safeway, Borders, the Macauley Foundation, and the Cooke Foundation.

The Heart of America Foundation® (HOA) was created to help children learn to read, succeed and make a difference. Since 1997, the Heart of America Foundation® has touched the lives of more than 600,000 children and involved 100,000 young adults in service. With Capitol One, HOA has provided half a million books with a value in excess of $3 million for children in poverty and at risk over the last 3 years.


Colleen Noland, VP Programs




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