Who Said You Can’t Have Fun and Make a Difference?

Event Detail

  • Event Name: Backpack Drive & Family Fun Fest (FREE EVENT)
  • Event Type: Back-to-School Giveaway “While Supplies Last” (serving foster, homeless and low-income youth)
  • Date: Saturday, August 10, 2019
  • Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Giveaway Begins: 2:00pm
  • Location: Lanark Recreation Center, 21816 Lanark Street, Canoga Park, CA 91304 (we’ll be situated on the Northeast Corner behind the skate park)
  • About Lanark Park: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lanark-recreation-center-canoga-park


Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, but it does require courage! A hardworking mother or father (despite their best efforts) still find themselves struggling financially each year to send their children back to school. They should not feel ashamed nor embarrassed because they need extra help! Rays of Light Philanthropic, Inc. (RLP) is here to support our resilient parents.

Annually, we host a community service event called the Backpack Drive & Family Fun Fest (BD&FFF). It’s a family friendly, fun-filled, block party style event complete with music, games and food…best of all, it’s FREE! This event is not just a day of fun, it serves as a pathway to “Be a Blessing” by assisting parents in offsetting the costs associated with preparing their students to return to school.

Historically, our aim has been the collection and distribution of hundreds of brand new, supply-filled backpacks for foster and homeless children, youth and teens. However, we’ve expanded our tangible goods scope to include the distribution of clothing and shoes. This means RLP is committed to providing each school age child one brand new, supply filled backpack, outfit (top and bottom) and a pair of shoes to return to school.

We believe basic need items instill hope, bolster confidence, build self-esteem that can translate to improved performance in the classroom. Students who are academic achievers are more likely to be valued contributors to our society and ultimately realize the value in helping others.

How You Can Help

Our tenet is “No one person can do everything, but we all can do something”. So far, we’ve received over 900 backpacks to give away, but we still need your help with clothing and shoes. Please consider the following ways you can help below..

  1. Make a tax-deductible donation toward the purchase of clothing, shoes or school supplies. Your gift of $75.00 would purchase a back-to-school kit consisting of a new backpack, top, bottom and a pair of shoes.
  2. Sign up to volunteer because it takes all of us to make a difference!
  3. Host your own personal drive to collect clothing and shoes for students ages 5 – 18
  4. Promote our event on your social media sites (see promo flyer at the top)
  5. Send an e-mail blast to your family, friends and colleagues to help us raise awareness and asking them to purge their closets for “gently used” garments that would meet our requirements.

Tangible Goods Distribution

Annually, RLP works diligently to secure brand-new items — we’ve discovered the term “gently used” is widely subjective. However, this year we will accept “very gently used” clothing and shoes in pristine condition meeting the following requirements:

  1. Clothing and shoes must be clean!
  2. Clothing and shoes should be fully functional (i.e., no missing buttons, velcro should adhere, working zippers, etc.)
  3. No tears or rips
  4. No stains or signs of fading
  5. No odors
  6. Shoes should have both shoestrings, no odors and must be in good condition

All tangible goods we receive will be thoroughly inspected (per the above-mentioned requirements), counted and prepared for distribution. 100% of what we receive will be distributed event day in the following two ways:

  1. Our standard protocol is the provision of goods to our partner organizations below. They will distribute those goods to the youngsters in their care in preparation for the first day of the 2019/20 school year.
    • DCFS (San Fernando & Van Nuys)
    • Door of Hope
    • Inner Circle Foster Care
    • Union Rescue Mission)
  2. This year RLP will also distribute to students in our community that have demonstrated the need for financial support. We have taken care to implement some specific guidelines, to guard against abuse to ensure we’re good stewards over all we receive.