Cooper University Health Care and The Cooper Foundation Donate Backpacks, School Supplies to Camden Students in Annual Back-to-School Tradition

A student at KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy heads to school on the first day with his new backpack.

More than 2,200 backpacks donated through the Cooper Foundation’s Operation Backpack

In what has become an annual back-to-school time tradition, Cooper University Health Care team members and other donors have raised funds to purchase backpacks and school supplies for all students enrolled at KIPP Lanning Square Primary, KIPP Lanning Square Middle, KIPP Sumner Elementary, KIPP Hatch Middle and KIPP Cooper Norcross High School as part of the Foundation’s annual Operation Backpack.

“We at Cooper are committed to improving our community’s quality of life, and Operation Backpack shows that commitment goes beyond health,” said George E. Norcross III, chairman of the Cooper Board of Trustees.

“Cooper’s mission is to serve, to heal, to educate, and that includes supporting young people in our community. Providing students with backpacks and school supplies gives them the foundation for a successful school year,” said Philip A. Norcross, Esq., chairman of The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees.

Since 2013, Cooper team members and donors have participated in The Cooper Foundation’s Operation Backpack. The initiative started as a collection drive where team members and departments donated backpacks and school supplies for Camden students. In 2020, to ensure everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic, The Cooper Foundation began soliciting monetary gifts and using those funds to order backpacks and school supplies. This allowed The Cooper Foundation to provide students with the exact items their teachers said they would need for the upcoming school year.

“Each year, Cooper team members are eager to participate in the Operation Backpack initiative. We are grateful for their ongoing support,” said Robert A. Ortiz Jr., JD, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer of The Cooper Foundation.

“We are so appreciative of partners like The Cooper Foundation that understand the crucial need for school supplies, especially with rising inflation prices. Donations of school supplies like these help our students to start the year off strong and set them up for success,” said Drew Martin, executive director of KIPP New Jersey.

The backpacks and school supplies were delivered to each of the recipient schools and distributed to students at the start of the year.

About Cooper University Health Care

Cooper University Health Care is a leading academic health system with more 8,900 employees including 1600 nurses, and more than 850 employed physicians. Cooper University Hospital is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey and the busiest in the region.  Annually, nearly two million patients are served at Cooper’s 635-bed flagship hospital, outpatient surgery center, three urgent care centers, and more than 105 ambulatory offices throughout the community. Cooper has been named as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes for two consecutive years and was recognized as one of the top hospitals in New Jersey and as a top-performing hospital nationally in numerous specialty services by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Hospitals annual survey. Additionally, Cooper has earned the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM for four consecutive years, placing Cooper among the top 5% of all short-term acute care hospitals.

The Cooper Health Sciences campus is home to Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Visit to learn more.

About the Cooper Foundation

The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship, Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, NJ.

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