Items are being collected this month to help equip 10,000 El Paso County kids with free backpacks filled with school supplies in Pikes Peak United Way and COSILoveYou’s Backpack Bash.

Through July 24, items are being collected at 16 donation sites across the Pikes Peak region. The free backpacks will be distributed next month.

All donated items must be new, and backpacks will be stuffed by volunteers before distributing them to children.

The most needed items are high school and elementary school backpacks, spiral notebooks (college and wide ruled), 3-ring binders, pens (blue, black or red), pencils, plastic pocket folders and face masks. Other items that can be donated: mechanical pencils, colored pencils, erasers, highlighters, rulers, protractors, loose leaf college ruled paper, 3-inch-by-5-inch index cards, scientific or basic calculators, thumb drives, dry erase markers, facial tissue, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

Drop-off sites are:

  • Pikes Peak United Way, 518 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs; open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
  • Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St., Colorado Springs; open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
  • Nunn Construction, 925 Elkton Drive, Colorado Springs; open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mountain Springs Church, 7345 Adventure Way, Colorado Springs; open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 N. Jefferson St., Monument; open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • State Farm, 1710 S. Circle Drive, Colorado Springs; open Thursdays and Fridays, 2 to 5 p.m.

The following Walmart drop-off locations are open every day from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.:

  • Colorado Springs: 3201 E. Platte Ave.; 707 S. Eighth St.; 8250 Razorback Road; 4425 Venetucci Blvd.; 1575 Space Center Drive; and 5550 E. Woodmen Road.
  • Monument: 16218 Jackson Creek Parkway
  • Falcon: 11550 Meridian Market View
  • Woodland Park: 19600 E. U.S. 24
  • Fountain: 6310 S. U.S. 85/87

To claim a free backpack, visit one of the following locations:

Aug. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

  • Mission Trace Shopping Center, 3031 S. Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs
  • Mountain Springs Church, 7345 Adventure Way, Colorado Springs
  • Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St., Colorado Springs

Aug. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

  • Doherty High School, 4515 Barnes Road, Colorado Springs
  • Tri-Lakes YMCA, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway, Monument

Backpacks will be given out on a first come, first served basis. Each family can visit one Backpack Bash location, and each child must be present to receive a backpack. To maintain safety in the age of COVID-19, backpacks will be distributed via a drive-thru, and all attendees are asked to wear masks.

To volunteer at the Backpack Bash, visit

To make a financial donation, visit

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