For the past 16 years, the Office Depot Foundation has been giving children important tools they need to succeed in school – and in life – at the beginning of the new school year.
In 2016, the Foundation – the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot® (NASDAQ:ODP) – is celebrating the 16th year of its award-winning National Backpack Program by donating 200,000 colorful new sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally.
By the end of 2016, 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.
“We believe that every child should have the opportunity to go to school with dignity and hope,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong. “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. The sackpacks and school supplies we donate help to level the playing field and give these wonderful children a reason to stand just a little bit taller.”
To deliver sackpacks directly to children, the Foundation is hosting Back-to-School Celebrations in select 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. The Foundation is collaborating with the AARP Experience Corps, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Feed the Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Operation Homefront and Samaritan’s Feet International. For the eighth consecutive year, children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona will receive sackpacks.
The specially designed, drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs – several of which are new for 2016. 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.
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.
It is nice knowing that this program is putting a smile on the faces of children. We all know the excitement of the first day of school.