Great Outdoor Provision Company helps YMCA Campers Prepare for the Classroom

Raleigh, N.C.—While children are enjoying the last days of summer vacation, many parents are worrying about how to pay for back to school supplies. Experts estimate the cost of those supplies if at least $100 per child.

Operation Back to School - YMCAIn an effort to help families on limited budgets get their children well-equipped to start school, the Great Outdoor Provision Co. is joining forces with the YMCA of the Triangle to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to nearly 300 elementary and middle-school students in Raleigh. Participants have dubbed the effort Operation Back to School.

The students selected to participate in Operation Back to School have been attending Camp High Hopes, a Central YMCA Summer Day Camp located in Raleigh’s Combs Elementary School. Camp High Hopes is a day camp for families living in low-income housing communities. Donations to the YMCA of the Triangle’s annual WeBuildPeople Campaign make it possible for these children to experience camp.

Staples generously donated a third of the supplies to fill the backpacks. Parents of children attending other Central YMCA Summer Day Camps donated the remaining items.Volunteers will distribute the backpacks at Camp High Hopes Family Day on Wednesday, August 15 at 12:30 at Combs Elementary located at 2001 Lorimer Road. The media is invited to attend.

The Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s donation of 300 backpacks is possible thanks to the generosity of its customers, who responded to a summer-long promotion in which the store pledged to donate one backpack to Project Back to School for every one sold in its Raleigh store.

“We sell as many backpacks to be used as book bags by schoolchildren as we do backpacks for hiking and camping, especially in late summer,” said Tom Valone, president of the Great Outdoor Provision Co. “In appreciation of this large backpack market, we wanted to help kids who might not be able to afford the kind of packs that their peers have. Customers came to us for their packs knowing they would be helping others less fortunate.”

The company decided to coordinate its backpack donation through the YMCA of the Triangle because of the Y’s commitment to community outreach and providing recreational opportunities to children and families, both of which resonate with the Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s own mission.

Great Outdoor Provision Co., headquartered in Raleigh, has nine stores in North Carolina. The 44-year-old, family-owned company sells outdoor-recreation gear and sportswear. For more information, visit For information on the YMCA of the Triangle, go to or contact Jennifer Nelson at 919-719-9641.