Annual DPSS Backpack Giveaway for Low-Income CalWORKs Youth Partners with to Serve as Public Vaccination Site
This year, the Department of Public Social Services’ (DPSS) Annual Backpack Giveaway took on a dual role by serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site for unvaccinated County residents. The 2021 Giveaway event provided hundreds of low-income children with the essential items needed for a successful school year, while offering onsite vaccinations to help slow the spread of the virus.
The annual back to school event took place on Thursday, August 5th as the County experienced an increase in the demand for vaccinations due to a surge in COVID cases. County leaders and event organizers made the decision to collaborate with the Department of Public Health to utilize the heavy traffic venue to vaccinate families and the public during the event.
Participating families were referred by their DPSS case worker and pre-registered to attend the backpack distribution at Toy Loan Program Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. To practice physical distancing, all items were safely placed into vehicles as the families slowly drove through the facility, where they were greeted by L.A. County Supervisor Chair Hilda L. Solis, DPSS Director Antonia Jiménez and Toy Loan Program staff.
“We’re here to help ease the financial burden many hardworking families are experiencing right now,” said Jiménez, acknowledging the donations of backpacks and school supplies from County employees and the public. “We need to support our children in reaching their full potential, and today, we are giving them the tools they need to do well at school.”
Over the past five years, over 3,600 backpacks and school supplies have been generously donated to the giveaway. Supervisor Solis recognized the efforts of all involved.
“It takes a village to make sure our children grow strong, healthy, and confident,” said Solis. “That’s why we’re here today: to remind our hardworking families they are not alone in this struggle. We stand united with them.”