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By Leonard Ortiz >>

Thousands of children and their parents packed the parking lot at Angel Stadium on Sunday morning — not in advance of an Angels game, but rather to receive a free backpack filled with school supplies from Karina’s Backpack Project by the Joy of Sharing.

Karina’s Backpack Project, the brainchild of 15-year-old Karina Tarsadia, was created to provide low-income families with supplies for elementary- and middle-school students.

Karina came up with the idea after going on service trips with her family to India, Cambodia and Peru. After going to Zambia, she said, “I was inspired, so I wanted to do something within my own community here in Orange County.”

In addition to the backpack giveaway, the six-hour event, which drew about 8,500 people, included free haircuts provided by Advanced Beauty College, free groceries, music, entertainment and food. The Anaheim Police Department’s Special Tactical Detail armored vehicle and two of the department’s mounted units also made an appearance.

Karina gave away 5,000 backpacks Sunday.

Karina Tarsadia, founder of Karina’s Backpack Project, shares a laugh with JohnnyJack Perez, left, and his brother Oliver after the boys received two of 5,000backpacks filled with school supplies that were given to low-income families at Angel Stadium on Sunday.


Groceries like these bags of beans were also distributed to the needy. The charity event drew about 8,500people, organizers said.

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