More than 2,000 backpacks lined the grassy hill at Pepperdine University Saturday--each one representing a homeless child in need in Southern California, and setting a Guinness World Record.
Countless volunteers gathered Saturday to place the backpacks in line, each touching each other, in an S-shape in Pepperdine University's Alumni Park.
"It's our 20th anniversary and we just wanted to break a world record, be a little different and raise awareness," said Sinead Chilton of School on Wheels, which organized the effort in partnership with Pepperdine.
Malibu Mayor Joan House and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks walked the length of the backpacks and made the count official.
"I'm very enthusiastic," House said. "These people came out to do a world record in backpacks."
House said she brought out a few backpacks of her own to donate. The event started with the placing of an oversized backpack at the beginning by School on Wheels Executive Director Catherine Meek, followed by 2,000 others that were all donated.
The goal was to have organizations and individuals donate 2,000, but School on Wheels exceeded that goal--bringing in 2,500, according to Elise Webster, a Pepperdine student who helped organize the event.
Southwest Airlines donated 40 backpacks and Temple Judea gave 2,000. Of those, 1,000 were stuffed with supplies and the rest were empty. Only the unstuffed backpacks were used for the world record.
All the backpacks will be given out to homeless children in Southern California. School on Wheels provides free tutoring to students.
The backpacks were assembled to the west of the Wave of Flags, which memorializes the victims of 9/11.
The event was put on in conjunction with Pepperdine's Step Forward volunteer day.