A backpack giveaway brought thousands of families out to the east valley Saturday morning.
They lined up at Van Buren Elementary School. The line streched around the school as hundreds of families waited outside.
Slowly, they made their way inside, where volunteers from Martha’s Village, Indio Teen Center and the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission handed out free school supplies.
Kids were able to pick out their backpack and fill them with anything they would need for school. This is the first year all three charity groups teamed up for a back to school event.
Many in the valley still worry about teacher lay-offs. Hundreds of teachers around the valley have lost their job, pushing class sizes to the limit.
Others want to make sure their kids stay healthy and avoid the whooping cough outbreak.
Organizers of the back to school event say donations are down 20% this year. They formally start collecting money and supplies as soon as school ends.