Hundreds of kids head back to school this week more prepared to learn, thanks in part to the help of the Rotary Club of West U and the Weekly Family YMCA.  As part of the Greater Houston-area Operation Backpack (, the members of the Rotary Club of West U purchased and stuffed 700 backpacks with school supplies for distribution by the Weekly Family YMCA to children in need, representing two-thirds of the 1,050 backpacks collected there.


Rotary Club of West U member Irene Duque purchased the backpacks with the proceeds of a $2,500 grant from The Rotary Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Rotary International, which the Rotary Club of West U matched dollar-for-dollar.  All 700 backpacks were purchased from Walgreens (Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet).  “The manager there, Mrs. Nguyen, went out of her way to help the club with our project,” said Ms. Duque.  “She also picked up a few boxes of backpacks at the Walgreens closest to her home.  All for charity, she said, and glad to help!” 

After collecting supplies from HEB, one of Operation Backpack’s sponsors, the members of the Rotary Club of West U spent an evening in fellowship and service stuffing the backpacks with supplies to ensure that area children are not left without the tangible tools needed to further their educations.  The backpacks are being dispersed to four schools in the West University area, YMCA Apartment Outreach Centers and families on scholarships through the YMCA.

The Rotary Club of West U made an important contribution, but there are still many more children starting this school year without essential school supplies.  Those interested in supporting Operation Backpack can go to to learn more about what supplies are needed and where to drop off backpacks.