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500 Students in Metro Denver Go Back to School with New Backpacks and Supplies


The back-to-school season is an exciting time of year, full of new beginnings for families across our community. But it can also be a time of worry for parents due to the high cost of getting kids ready to go back.

The average supply list per student can cost over $100, which isn’t feasible for many families in Metro Denver. To help alleviate this financial burden, Mile High United Way hosts our Back to School Bash every year where students across our community receive new backpacks and their full supply list. We also provide supplies and resources to teachers, so everyone can start the school year off strong.

On July 29, we held the first distribution at our office in Five Points where families joined us to get their supplies, play games and enjoy lunch. Some families even received new bicycles. United Launch Alliance held a STEM activity for students to learn about rocket ships. Comcast joined to talk to families about the Internet Essentials program (an affordable home Internet program for qualifying households), and our 211 Help Center staff were onsite to connect families to other needed resources.

We are now gearing up for another distribution in Longmont! In total, 500 students will start the school year off with everything they need to learn.

Watch the video to see the Back to School Bash in action!

Sending Students Back to School as a Community United

This event brought together our incredible network of volunteers and partners who donated, ran supply drives and gave their time to help us reach our goal of serving 500 students. Lorivie Abapo is one of the 127 volunteers who joined the event this year.

Today, Lorivie works for Empower, an event sponsor, but she was a teacher earlier in her career. She was excited to join the Back to School Bash to help students prepare for the year ahead.

“I wanted to be able to pay it forward and then also kind of celebrate in the energy that is the back-to-school season,” Lorivie said. “I think what made it easy for me was the fact that Empower set it all up. I didn’t have to go searching for a listing to help out and it aligned with my values … And then we get to give away bikes and school supplies and help kids pick out the perfect backpack for the new school year. So that’s really exciting for me.”

Lorivie works for Empower, an event sponsor, but she was a teacher earlier in her career. She was excited to join the Back to School Bash to help students prepare for the year ahead.
Lorivie Abapo (pictured left), volunteer from Empower

Through our corporate engagement program, we work with companies, like Empower, to help their employees join community projects and learn more about the issues they care about.

We are incredibly grateful to all our corporate sponsors, Empower, Xcel Energy, KeyBank, PepsiCo, Premier Members Credit Union and United Launch Alliance (ULA), and to all our partners who ran supply drives in the weeks leading up to the event. Thank you for supporting families during the back-to-school season! View more photos from the event.


Get Involved:

Our annual Back to School Bash aligns with one of our three community priorities, Supporting Education and Academic Success, where we help create brighter futures for children and young people in Metro Denver.

You can join Mile High United Way in helping our community thrive – as a donor, volunteer, corporate partner and more. Learn about all the ways you can make a positive impact.

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