United Way of Mahaska County is partnering with the Salvation Army, SIEDA, the community school districts, our business community, and local agencies to help coordinate Operation Backpack. The goal of the program is provide the essential supplies needed by our community’s children to help them excel in their education. We are all uniting in one community effort to help students be ready to start school again in the fall.
Free backpacks and school supplies will be given to children of families at no more than 200% of the federal poverty level. The program targets children in preschool through 12th grade. This is NOT on a first-come, first-served basis: we help first those who are in the most need. The program supplies stocked backpacks to as many qualifying children as possible until all funds have been used.
We are also looking for groups and individuals to get involved by donating school supplies and/or money to purchase school supplies. Each stuffed backpack costs on average $20. In 2013, United Way helped 16,100 children nation-wide. If you are able to help, please consider sponsoring a certain number of students by donating a monetary gift to support the program. Monetary donations are tax deductible, and can be delivered in person or by mail to:
Attn: Operation Backpack
c/o United Way of Mahaska County
500 High Avenue West
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
Our partner businesses are hosting boxes for Stuff the Bus which helps the Mahaska County community supply drive. Contact us (information below) for a list of needed items.

If you can help ready our children with the tools they need to be prepared their first day of school, please contact our office at 641.673.6043 or via email at unitedway@mahaska.org to get involved!