By Brittanie Murch Dec 30, 2010 News No Comments
December 10, 2010

Students at Violette Elementary School in Garden Grove listen to Cambria Herrera, of Hope Christian Academy's Beta Club, read "Sharing: How Kindness Grows," by Fran Shaw, after receiving free backpacks from OneOC Friday.


SANTA ANA--All week, they've been learning about the importance of giving back. On Friday, they're all getting gifts.

About 2,200 backpacks filled with school supplies, books and toys are being given out Friday to first-graders at 20 high-poverty elementary schools across Orange County.

The annual donation project is organized by OneOC, formerly the Volunteer Center Orange County, which also is sending volunteers into classrooms Friday to read first-graders a story about the value of giving.

Earlier this week, OneOC's Spirit of Giving program provided instructional materials to help first-grade teachers lead classroom activities promoting sharing and kindness. The two-week program will wrap up next week.

The schools – from La Habra to San Juan Capistrano – were chosen because they have high concentrations of low-income students; at least 80 percent of students at each school receive free or reduced-price meals.

Each backpack is stuffed with school supplies, a small toy and a copy of "The Berenstain Bears Lend a Helping Hand." Every first-grader at these schools is receiving the backpack.

This is the 10th year the center has given backpacks and supplies to low-income kids in Orange County. Last year, the center selected 17 schools.

Program sponsors include Office Depot, the Gap, Change a Life Foundation, Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Anaheim Community Foundation, R.C. Baker Foundation, Union Bank, Ceridian and Prudential. Teacher gifts were secured from the Anaheim Ducks and author Mark Victor Hansen.

The participating schools are:


Esther E. Walter Elementary
Benjamin Franklin Elementary
Danbrook Elementary
Jefferson Elementary
Lord Baden Powell Elementary

Costa Mesa

College Park Elementary

Garden Grove

Skylark Elementary
Violette Elementary

Huntington Beach

Oak View Elementary

La Habra

Arbolita Elementary


Esplanade Elementary
Handy Elementary


Melrose Elementary
San Juan Capistrano
Kinoshita Elementary

Santa Ana

John F. Kennedy Elementary
Benjamin Franklin Elementary
Diamond Elementary
Heninger Elementary
Martin Elementary


Finley Elementary

Contact the writer: 949-454-7394 or


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