BAKERSFELD, Calif. (KGET) — With the school year just right around the corner the Open Door Network hosted its annual back-to-school drive on Saturday. The effort easing financial strain on local families.

The Golden Empire jumped into action for families in need donating hundreds of backpacks.

This includes more than 100 collected by 17 News given by generous community members during our backpack drive.

In total, The Open Door Network, formerly known as the Bakersfield Homeless Center, received more than 300 backpacks for their children.

“School supplies are the last thing on parent’s list when they are in trauma and dealing with crisis,” Lauren Skidmore the CEO of The Open Door Network said. “Of course school and routines still go on so we want kids to feel special. We want them to walk into the first day of school feeling confident and feeling like they’re supported. These types of supplies and these drives do exactly that.”

Students received more than just backpacks at the drive.

“We had backpacks, notebooks, erasers, glue sticks,” Skidmore said. “Anything you can imagine that could go in the backpacks. We were also able to give out shoes, underwear, socks and some basic clothing items to the kids as well.”

The children were overjoyed and excited for school now that they’ve been decked out in new gear.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for going back to school because most kids can’t get their backpacks and it’s really pretty and nice that they support us with the backpacks,” Leslie Golden a mother at The Open Door Networks said.

More than 100 of the donated backpacks were given out to children and parents in need during Saturday’s event. The rest will be saved and given to more children throughout the coming year.