NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Cradles to Crayons has brought back its Backpack-a-thon, preparing 70,000 backpacks with school essentials.

The organization started its mission in 2012 to provide clothing and school supplies to homeless and low-income children.

“Cradles to Crayons provides basic essentials to kids 0-12 all around Massachusetts, and today we’re here to get them ready for school by stuffing backpacks,” said the organization’s Executive Director Aubrey Henderson.

Volunteers, including 7’s own Amaka Ubaka, lent a hand in preparing 70,000 bags in the organization’s biggest initiative yet.

“We focus delivery on the school systems that need it the most,” said Henderson. “We know there are one in three children that live in low-income and poverty, and we want to make sure we’re reaching them.”

Experts said this year’s back-to-school spending is expected to hit a record high. In July, U.S. inflation rose to more than 9%, an increase that has not been seen in over four decades, leading more families than ever to rely on organizations like Cradles to Crayons.

“Especially with the rising costs of so many things, it’s hard to (get) your children to meet basic needs and provide for your family,” said volunteer Michelle Yang. “This is a great way that corporations and individuals to give back and help the community as well as young children.”

Cradles to Crayons accepts donations all year long. Items can be brought to any community drop-off locations.

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