For the past 16 years, the Office Depot Foundation has been giving children important tools they need to succeed in school at the beginning of the new school year, and this year is no exception. Since the inception of the National Backpack Program in 2001 they have given away more than 4 million backpacks and sackpacks to schools, nonprofits and agencies across the US and internationally. During the 16th year of their National Backpack Program, the Office Depot Foundation will donate 200,000 colorful sackpacks to students and schools in need.
For most of us a backpack may be taken for granted – just another item to pick up as we shop back to school sales and prepare for the coming year. But so many children are facing the new school year without even the most basic supplies – including a way to carry their books and schoolwork. The National Backpack Program helps students retain their dignity and return their focus to academics. This year the drawstring sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs. And my favorite part? There are no Office Depot or Office Depot Foundation logos or markings on the bags. A small detail like that can make such a big difference to a child – there is no way to tell that the Office Depot Foundation sackpacks have been donated to a family, because they look just like what you would find in any store.
Inside each sackpack is a zippered pouch that holds a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons. These supplies can give students hope, guaranteeing them the necessities to complete their work in class and at home.
“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.”
More information about the National Backpack Program can be found on the Office Depot Foundation’s Facebook page. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation and its initiatives, go to www.officedepotfoundation.org/, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.