Coronavirus forces Dollar Tree to revamp back-to-school program for military families
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In response to the pandemic, Dollar Tree and Operation Homefront have revamped their annual Back-to-School Brigade program, which collects school supplies for children in military families throughout the nation to adhere to federal, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines.
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The distribution of the school supplies will forgo the expo-style events that were held for military families in favor of a drive-thru format at which volunteers will be following CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to the company.
This is the 12th consecutive year, that Dollar Tree and Operation Homefront, will collect school supplies for children throughout the country. Since 2008, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit serving America’s military families, has distributed 350,000 backpacks to military children as part of its nationwide school supply collection and distribution campaign.
The organizations plan to give out its 400,000th backpack this year.
“I am extremely proud of our amazing 12-year partnership with the Dollar Tree family and their caring customers as they help us support our military families by ensuring their kids are prepared to start a new school year in the Fall,” said CEO of Operation Homefront Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., “With their help, we are able to make life better for those who have done — and continue to do — so much for all of us.”
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Up until August 22, school supplies that are purchased by Dollar Tree customers stores throughout the country will be donated to Operation Homefront. Backpacks filled with the donated school supplies and are collected by the nonprofit and usually distributed to military families at more than 120 Back-to-School Brigade events prior to the start of school.
However, this year, most of the events will focus on a new format in order to keep families and volunteers safe from COVID-19.
There will be more than 120 events across the nation this summer.
Operation Homefront's mission is to "build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect."
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Over 90 percent of the nonprofit's spending goes directly to programs and services that support tens of thousands of military families each year.
Since launching the program, the nonprofit has saved military families more than $50 million in school-related expenses.
Dollar Tree first joined forces with the nonprofit in 2006. Since then, the retailer's customers have provided "millions of dollars and in-kind support" to the organizations recurring programs.
Dollar Tree has also supported Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program for families in need.
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