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The Phoenix Mercury will host a backpack drive on Friday, August 9 at US Airways Center, prior to the team’s matchup with the Tulsa Shock. The collection will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Casino Arizona Pavilion, with the game scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. All backpacks will be donated to Playworks, a local non-profit organization, who will distribute them to Valley Title I schools.

Ready to receive your donations! Photo courtesy of Phoenix Mercury.

Fans are encouraged to donate new backpacks filled with school supplies, such as crayons, spiral notebooks, pencils and glue sticks. For each filled backpack, fans will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win autographed Mercury merchandise including: a 2013 Mercury team basketball, Diana Taurasi shoe, Penny Taylor jersey and player photographs.

Backpacks will be collected by a group of Valley students, who will demonstrate the importance of “kids helping kids.”

“The new school year is an exciting time for students, but it can also be an expensive time for families,” said Mercury president and COO Amber Cox. “The Phoenix Mercury is dedicated to helping Valley children and is thrilled to work with local students and Playworks to provide backpacks and school supplies to underserved youth.”

About Playworks
Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country providing trained, full-time play coaches focused on recess and anti-bullying to hundreds of low-income schools in major urban areas. The organization also provides training and technical assistance to schools, districts and youth organizations that wish to include inclusive, healthy play as part of a positive learning environment.