In Portland, a year of planning culminated in the Project: Back-to-School event. Numbers have grown since 500 children were helped in 1996. Over 1,300 children from kindergarten through 12th grade each received a new backpack filled with all grade-level required school supplies, personal hygiene items, and gift certificates for new shoes and haircuts.
Sponsored by KPTV Channel 12 for three years, marketed through collection drives in churches and supported by numerous businesses, the event still lags behind the need. This year there were 880 on the waiting list.