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Sep 14, 2017 3:41:00 PM

ASYMCA El Paso Provides School Supplies for Military Families


The Armed Services YMCA El Paso Child Development Center held its Annual Back to School Bash in great fashion. The Back to School Bash is a program that helps minimize the financial hardship for junior enlisted military and civilian families. The event was a fun filled day for the entire family. There was free food thanks to a donation from Panda Express (Panda Cares), music, and dancing. This year's ASYMCA El Paso Back to School Bash was by far the most successful as seen through the large attendance and the number of children helped. 300 backpacks of school supplies were given away and more than 500 people were fed at the event thanks to ASYMCA El Paso's partnership with Panda Cares.

ASYMCA El Paso's Back to School Bash 2017:

This August, El Paso was able to provide 250 children with school supplies and backpacks to start the new school year. Compared to last year's event, this year's Back to School Bash was larger and assisted more children. 300 backpacks filled with school supplies.


Diana Bengson, ASYMCA El Paso Development Associate said, “The difference this year was marketing and community partnerships. Marketing allowed us to reach out to several organizations who donated and contributed to this event - Our major sponsor for Back to School Bash was University Presbyterian Church that provided great support by donating $2,500." 

ASYMCA El Paso also teamed up with Fort Bliss Child and Youth Services who transported their children from all their schools on the installation to enjoy the day.  

Mrs. Roeder who participated in the Armed Services YMCA El Paso Back to School Bash stated her family, "Recently fell on hard times and this event was a blessing." She has five school-aged children and the costs of school supplies continues to rise. She expressed this program is very beneficial to her and her family since it helps to alleviate financial stress.   

20934043_10156335107506729_8818213008903307948_o-1.jpgThe Maldonado family also enjoyed this year's Back to School Bash saying, “Thanks for helping our community! This event is great."

Armed Services YMCA El Paso appreciates the contributions of Smile Magic for providing dental information and tooth brush give-a-ways.  Security Service Federal Credit Union, United Way-Parent as Teachers, USO and Retired Officers’ Wives Club of El Paso were also instrumental in the event's success thanks to their sponsorship support.

Panda Express (Panda Cares) was on site to feed the children who attended ASYMCA El Paso's Back to School Bash. Established in 1999, Panda Cares is the philanthropic arm of Panda Restaurant Group. They are committed to serving the communities in which they operate by providing food, funding and volunteer services to under served children and disaster relief efforts. Panda Cares brings hope to children in need and their purpose is to foster the spirit of giving at Panda Restaurant Group by promoting the health and educational needs of under served children. Since the inception, Panda Cares has raised $48.5 Million to support children in their communities and fund worldwide disaster relief. 

Panda Express originally planned to feed 400 children, but ended up feeding many more due to the big turnout. To accommodate for the additional attendees, Panda Express coordinated with various El Paso Panda Express locations to supply more food. Thanks to their swift actions and great teamwork an extra 120 meals were provided for the event in just minutes. 

ASYMCA El Paso estimates they have away around $7,500 worth of school supplies.  estimated that to purchase 300 backpacks for $15 each and $10 worth of school supplies for each backpack would total $7,500. Thanks to the monetary and school supply donations to include several school supplies donated from the USO, the El Paso ASYMCA was able to complete their mission by giving back to the children of Fort Bliss and El Paso community.

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Joe Pritchard, Executive Director of ASYMCA El Paso expressed, “Today was a blessing that comes from serving the needs of others and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when they receive the school supplies – Our staff is grateful to have the support from the community”.

If you are interested in donating to the Armed Services YMCA El Paso so that they can continue to help junior enlisted service members and their families, please consider making a donation. Our military families need your support! 


The mission of the Armed Services YMCA of El Paso is to enhance the lives of military members and their families in spirit, mind, and body through programs relevant to the unique challenges of military life. The ASYMCA of El Paso provides no- and low-cost programs to make military life easier for service members and their families stationed in the El Paso, Texas area. If you too would like to help military families and support the ASYMCA El Paso Lodge for the military community, please donate today. Your tax deductible donation to the ASYMCA, a top-rated non-profit, will make a significant impact on the lives of enlisted service members and their families. Please visit our website to learn more.