Over 2,000 backpacks full of school supplies given out by Maryland’s police officers

Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack" event on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the “Stuff the Backpack Drive” on Saturday.

Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the “Stuff the Backpack Drive” on Saturday.

Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the “Stuff the Backpack Drive” on Saturday.

Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the “Stuff the Backpack Drive” on Saturday.

Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the “Stuff the Backpack Drive” on Saturday.

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Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack" event on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.
Volunteers help fill bags with school supplies at the "Stuff the Backpack Drive" on Saturday.

A group of Maryland police officers are doing their part to help students who may be returning to class without all the supplies they need.

A “Stuff the Backpack Drive” is one of the events organized by the nonprofit Beyond the Badge Foundation, where officers give away backpacks full of school supplies to students in need.



“You hear about these teachers having to supply these students using their own money. And I said, you know, we can’t complain if we’re not doing anything to to help these kids out,” Howard County Police officer Raymond Peele told WTOP.

Peele is one of the five officers who co-founded the nonprofit in 2017. As he put it, being a police officer isn’t “about just serving the community in uniform, but outside of that uniform.”

One of the ways the organization does that is with the school supplies drive, now in its second year.

Last year, they set a modest goal of 200 bags — but crushed it with overwhelming community support and gathered 700 bags. This year they set their sights on 2,000 backpacks.

Saturday morning, dozens of volunteers gathered at a last minute supply drive at Tubman High School in Columbia. It was the last day of collecting for the group that has worked all month and any loose supplies were stuffed into extra backpacks.

“I stopped counting at 2,000. Yesterday, and when I got here today, people were still dropping off backpacks. So we’re well above the 2,000,” Peele said.

Peele and other officers will deliver the bags filled with pens, pencils, notebooks and other classroom necessities to six schools and Maryland and one in D.C.

“I’m a firm believer that I may serve the community of Howard County as a police officer, but to me community is outside the county and even outside the state,” Peele said. 

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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