WAGGA residents' mission if they choose to accept it is to make sure no student goes without a backpack and stationery when school starts this year.
This is Operation Backpack's aim and the annual event was launched for 2012 at the Marketplace.
Marketplace ambassador Katrina Chambers ? mostly known for her time on hit reality show The Block ? was there with her sons to kick off the charity event.
"With three school-aged children I know how hard it can be at this time of year just after Christmas," she said. "Some families have just scraped through Christmas and they can't afford to buy their children the school supplies they need at the start of the year.
"I don't think people know enough about the realities many families go through ? from my time on television and from bringing my children here I'm hoping we can raise awareness."
Donation bins will be located outside Big W, Woolworths and near a newsagency so shoppers can buy extra items to place in the bins and help the cause.
The Marketplace centre manager Maria Sharman said last year more than 4000 items were collected, which were then made into 180 backpacks.
"We're hoping to make 200 backpacks this year ? we've been doing this for a few years and every time it grows," she said.
"It's a way we can contribute easily and make a huge difference to families ? the community have really gotten behind it."
The back-to-school initiative is being run by the Marketplace and St Vincent de Paul.