Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Record-breaking Back to School Drive helps area youth

Laboratory employees and partners donate backpacks and supplies to local children.
October 2, 2017
Back to School Drive

Lab employees load backpacks for delivery to one of the school districts in the region.


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email
“This year’s drive was a great success. Laboratory employees do more than just give.” - Joanna Gillespie

A record 989 backpacks were distributed to public school districts and tribal schools across Northern New Mexico as a result of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s 2017 Back to School Drive. The backpacks, containing school supplies, made it into the hands of students before the start of the new school year.

The Laboratory worked with 12 school districts and the Bureau of Indian Education schools in Northern New Mexico to make sure the backpacks went to the children who need them most.

“The backpacks from the Lab drive have a huge impact,” says Sharon Guerrero of Santa Fe Public Schools. “The families who receive them are struggling to put food on the table, but students still need to bring their own equipment and backpacks to school.” 

“This year’s drive was a great success. Laboratory employees do more than just give,” says drive coordinator Joanna Gillespie. “They also encourage giving in their groups or divisions, they help check every backpack to ensure that each one contains everything on the supplies list, and they even assist with distributions when needed.” 

“It was great to have our community partners, Dollars 4 Schools, Cray and Frank’s Supply make such generous monetary donations,” Gillespie continues. “This giving allowed for additional distributions of backpacks and supplies to the largest districts in the seven-county area, and to three regional nonprofits that aid student in crisis situations year-round.”

Other partners were Del Norte Credit Union and Los Alamos National Bank. Monetary contributions to the Back 2 School Drive are accepted throughout the year.

For more information, email Joanna Gillespie at 505-665-4400.