At a time when the coronavirus is impacting lives across the nation, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians across Riverside County have taken the initiative to put a smile on the faces of students in seven county school districts. At Desert Sands Unified School District that meant donating 135 backpacks filled with school supplies to be distributed to students in foster care or who are homeless.

Working through the Desert Sands Educational Foundation for the donation, Patrick Calasan, president of the foundation board and Kaiser Permanente clinical manager for outside utilization services said in a prepared statement.

DSUSD Students Receive Donated Backpacks

Donated backpacks

“For the past two months, Kaiser Permanente employees have been using their own money to buy new backpacks and school supplies for under-resourced students in elementary, middle, and high school. The opportunity to now give these supplies to students who are truly in need is a gift to those of us who helped make this happen.”

In addition to Desert Sands, backpacks were also donated to Corona-Norco, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Riverside unified school districts, as well as Perris Elementary School District.

The team at Kaiser Permanente believes that it is important to rally behind students to support learning and encourage excitement for the new school year even though the experience will be different due to the Coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has caused a financial strain on many households and even job loss or under-employment for some families, so the donated backpacks and school supplies may come as a sign of relief for many parents.

In the Coachella Valley, the initial projections for job losses from December 2019 to May 2020 are 53,795 which constitutes a decline of 28.7%, according to a study released in May from the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP): The Employment Impact of COVID-19 in the Coachella Valley.

Image Sources

  • backpacks: DSUSD
  • backpacks: DSUSD