On Saturday, August 21 bright and early, several Rotarians from the Santee-Lakeside Rotary volunteered to help distribute 900 backpacks to kids gearing up for the new school year.  

The day before, Rotarians and others filled the backpacks with supplies in just one hour thanks to the great organizing skills of those who set up. 

Saturday, backpacks were distributed at a drive-up location at Rio Seco elementary school. They were all gone within 1.5 hours! Everyone who volunteered did an amazing job. One family was so excited to be able to get backpacks for their school-aged children that the mother shared they were homeless. As she left, she honked the horn to show her appreciation. What a feel-good moment! 
The program is named after Buddy Robaya who was one of the founders who passed away in 2020 and the program continues to grow each year.  The entire Santee community has embraced Buddy’s Backpacks.  All the supplies and backpacks are donated by community members and organizations.