Korean American Family Services (KFAM) is running its backpack campaign once again this year, making it the third summer that the non-profit has gathered donations and support to provide new backpacks and school supplies for foster children who face financial difficulties.

KFAM, a non-profit that offers services including counseling services and recruiting Korean families to become licensed foster care providers, began this backpack campaign in 2014. Providing students with new backpacks and a fresh set of school supplies prevents them from the potential bullying that they may otherwise receive, organizers say.

Each year, the donation goal has increased. In 2014, the goal was to provide 100 backpacks, while in 2015, the goal was 300. This year, the organization hopes to provide 350 backpacks.

KFAM Korean American Family Services
(Photo : Courtesy of KFAM)
KFAM staff, including executive director Connie Chung Joe (right), explained the process for donations for this year's backpack campaign at a press conference in KFAM's Los Angeles office.

“Every year, through the love and support of the Korean community, we’ve been able to prepare more backpacks and supplies than we had hoped for,” said Connie Chung Joe, the executive director of KFAM. “I hope that many will again give their warm support this year.”

As KFAM focuses on recruiting Korean families to be licensed foster care providers and placing Korean children in Korean families, the backpack drive will also prioritize the Asian American students in the foster care system. According to KFAM, some 34,655 children under the age of 19 are in the care of the LA DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services), of which 680 of them are Asian American and 40 are Korean American. About 14 children are Koreans who are not fluent in English.

The non-profit plans to deliver the 350 sets of new backpacks and school supplies in August to the Asian Pacific Project located in West Covina, which manages the Asian American foster care families and children.

Those who are interested can participate by personally purchasing new backpacks and school supplies and delivering them to the KFAM office, or donating financially. A donation of $25 will be used to purchase a new backpack, and a donation of $50 will be used to purchase a new backpack as well as new school supplies. Donations will be received until the end of July.

For more information, visit kfamla.org.