Operation: Backpack

By Chad McIntyre

“You never know how far reaching something you may say, think, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.”
– Dr. BJ Palmer

Ahead of the upcoming school year, Dr. Chad McIntyre of Triad Upper Cervical Clinic has launched his 13th annual backpack and supply drive for Kernersville Elementary School (KES), and he urges members of the community to pitch in to make this the most successful one yet.

Kernersville Elementary is the town’s only school labeled as “Title 1,” which means that 75% or more of the student body falls below the poverty line. The elementary grades set the tone in life both socially and educationally. With resources limited to put toward the list of needed items for the year, the kids need help to stay focused solely on learning and school. Future success in part depends on a solid foundation, and Dr. Chad enthusiastically believes that ensuring the kids at KES are fully prepared is an important step in giving them the best chance to be successful.

Dr. Chad started the Operation: Backpack program in 2010 when he moved back to Kernersville, his hometown, to open Triad Upper Cervical Clinic on Mountain St. A meeting with former WS/FCS superintendent, Dr. Donald Martin, surprisingly revealed that KES, right next door to McIntyre’s office, was the school most in need of the program. In year one, the program collected 76 packs full of supplies, then the next year 90. Each year, the goal of besting the previous drive was accomplished, peaking with a current program-record 320 full packs pre-pandemic in 2019. This year, the goal is to get back to the record-breaking norm. Dr. Chad hopes to collect 350 filled packs this year.

In total, Operation: Backpack has delivered more than 2,000 full backpacks to the students at KES over the past twelve years, with donations coming from Kernersville residents and patients at Triad Upper Cervical who travel from many other communities.

“This school, this community, means a lot to me,” Dr. Chad said. “The backpack drive has become a yearly passion project for me, a reminder of how incredibly Kernersville has influenced my life. When I started this program, the kids that are now high school seniors were in kindergarten. That blows my mind. You really never know how something you do today could influence someone’s life in the years that follow. My youngest kids go to KES, and both look forward to the backpack drive every year. It is awesome. Anything you can do to help this year would be amazing.”

During the event, Dr. Chad and his wife and office manager, Tabatha, will collect school supplies, backpacks, and monetary donations at the practice. The McIntyre family will use the monetary donations to purchase more packs and supplies, often dependent on the school’s biggest needs, such as in 2020 when KES needed a set of headphones for each student instead of the traditional items. The donations are delivered to KES before the new student open house right before school starts.

In addition to new backpacks (no wheels), school supplies needed the most include: earbuds, 3 x 5 index cards, 1-inch 3-ring binders, bound composition notebooks, glue sticks, pencil top erasers, highlighters (any color), 24-pack crayons, and washable markers.

Donations may be dropped off at Triad Upper Cervical Clinic, located at 432B West Mountain Street. For more information about Operation: Backpack, call or text Dr. McIntyre’s office at 336-992-2536.

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