Operation Backpack provides supplies for homeless and at-risk kids.

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio is collecting back-to-school supplies to help students in need.

The nonprofit has launched its 12th annual Operation Backpack campaign, which runs through Aug. 8. The initiative, which takes place in Columbus as well as Cincinnati and Cleveland, aims to provide new backpacks and school supplies for at-risk and homeless children.

Donation boxes are available at Volunteers of America thrift stores and all Columbus Metropolitan Library branches. Individuals, businesses and community groups also are invited to hold backpack drives to benefit the initiative. Last year, Operation Backpack distributed 3,161 backpacks throughout Ohio and received more than $21,300 in donations.

Needed items include spiral notebooks, filler paper, rulers, crayons and pencils. For more information, or to see the full supply list or donate, go to voago.org/operationbackpack.