Note to media: These sackpacks are not available to the general public. They are being donated only to the designated recipients named below.
OFFICE DEPOT FOUNDATION DONATES 6,000 SACKPACKS TO SOUTH PALM BEACH COUNTY CHILDREN IN 17TH YEAR OF NATIONAL BACKPACK PROGRAM
Award-Winning Program Makes a Difference to 4 Million Kids since 2001
Delray Beach, FL, July 24, 2017 – For most children, the first day of school is an exciting time complete with new clothes and back-to-school gear. But for kids in families where money is tight, the experience can be just the opposite.
To make a difference to deserving children like these at the start of the new school year, the Office Depot Foundation will donate 6,000 colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies in the Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach areas. The Foundation – the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot® (NASDAQ:ODP) – will make the donations during a special Back-to-School Celebration beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25 (7/25) at the Office Depot store located at 14539 Military Trail in Delray Beach.
The Foundation is celebrating the 17th year of its award-winning National Backpack Program in 2017 by donating approximately 100,000 colorful new sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally. During the past 10 years, some 70,000 Delray Beach-area kids have received tools to succeed in school through this program.
By the end of this year, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have given away more than 4 million backpacks and sackpacks since the National Backpack Program began in 2001.
“It is our mission to make sure that every child has the right tools to achieve success in school,” said Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. “School is challenging enough on its own, and when you’re unable to come prepared with the basic essentials for learning, it’s nearly impossible. We want to give every kid a fair chance.”
The nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies scheduled to receive sackpacks on July 25 include:
- Achievement Centers for Children and Families
- Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Inc. (AVDA)
- Boca Helping Hands
- Boynton Beach Police Department
- Caridad Center
- Congregation B’nai Israel
- Delray Beach Police Department
- Hispano-Latino Cultural Alliance
- Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
- Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
- Milagro Center
- School District of Palm Beach County
- Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
- Spirit of Giving Network
- John Primitive Baptist Church
- YMCA of South Palm Beach County
Special guests expected to participate include:
- City of Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein
- City of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie
- City of Boynton Beach Mayor Steven B. Grant
- City of Delray Beach Commissioner Shelly Petrolia
- City of Boca Raton Council Member Robert S. Weinroth
- City of Boca Raton Council Member Andrea Levine O’Rourke
- City of Boca Raton Council Member Scott Singer
- Troy M. McLellan, President & CEO, Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
- Jenny Ceasar, Congressional Outreach for Congresswoman Lois Frankel
- Troy Gras, District Secretary to Representative Bill Hager
- Beth Lerner, Legislative Aide to Representative Bill Hager
Office Depot Foundation’s national nonprofit partners to participate include:
- Kristine Cohn, Senior Director of Development & Corporate Partnerships, Kids In Need Foundation
- Charlotte Merriam, Director of Volunteers, Operation Homefront
The specially designed, drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven bright and fun colors. Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons. The sackpacks do not have any Office Depot Foundation or Office Depot logos or markings.
To deliver sackpacks directly to children, the Foundation is hosting Back-to-School Celebrations in 13 cities across the U.S. in July and August. Thousands more sackpacks are being given to kids through the Office Depot Foundation’s continuing partnerships with a number of nonprofit organizations serving children nationally and globally, including the AARP Foundation, the National CASA Association, Feed the Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators and Operation Homefront.
At two of the Foundation’s South Florida events, a special donation of sackpacks will be made to Phantom Rescue, an elite group of former military and law enforcement professionals that rescue abducted children from human traﬃcking. In the last 10 years, the organization has located, rescued and returned children in more than 140 countries around the world.
This year, in addition to donating sackpacks to children who need them most, the Foundation is highlighting the importance of STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programs in our nation’s schools. To encourage kids to explore these important curriculums, the Foundation has partnered with Captain Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African American female combat pilot, who will make special guest appearances at the Foundation’s Back-To-School celebrations in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Again this year, the Office Depot Foundation has teamed up with Comcast and its Internet Essentials initiative, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Internet Essentials aims to help bridge the digital divide for the millions of students and families who don’t have broadband access and may be missing out on important educational resources.
More information about the National Backpack Program can be found on the Office Depot Foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/officedepotfoundation. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation and its initiatives, go to www.officedepotfoundation.org/. You can follow the Foundation on Twitter @OfficeDepotFndn; the National Backpack Program’s hashtag is #ODFcares. The Foundation is also on Instagram: @officedepotfoundation.
About the Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of nonprofit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards. For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.