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 is donating 5,000 colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies in the Charlotte area. The Foundation – the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot®(NASDAQ:ODP) – made the donations during a special Back-to-School Celebration beginning on Thursday, August 18 (8/18) at Classroom Central, at 2116 Wilkinson Blvd. in Charlotte.
Classroom Central has been a partner in the Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program for the past several years through its affiliation with the Kids In Need Foundation. Fort Mill, S.C.-based Domtar Corporation, a generous supporter of both Classroom Central and the Office Depot Foundation, will be a special guest for the event.
The Foundation is celebrating the 16th year of its award-winning National Backpack Program in 2016 by donating approximately 200,000 sackpacks to children in all 50 states and internationally. During the past seven years, some 27,000 Charlotte-area kids have received tools they need 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.
“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,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong. “We believe that every child should have the opportunity to go to school with dignity and hope. We are proud to make a difference in this community again this year.”
The Charlotte-area nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies scheduled to receive sackpacks include:
- A Child’s Place
- City of Charlotte
- City of Charlotte Department of Neighborhood & Business Services
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Activities League
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
- Classroom Central
- Learning Help Centers of Charlotte
- Trips for Kids
- YMCA of Greater Charlotte
The specially designed drawstring sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs, several are 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.
To deliver sackpacks directly to children, the Foundation is hosting Back-to-School Celebrations in more than 15 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 Samaritan’s Feet International. For the eighth consecutive year, children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona will receive sackpacks.
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.
About Classroom Central
Classroom Central equips students living in poverty to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Operating in six school districts and supporting over 200 schools and over 82,000 students, Classroom Central helps level the playing field for our region’s students in need. Since its inception in 2002, Classroom Central has distributed over $47.7 million in school supplies. For more information, visit http://www.classroomcentral.org.
Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. With over 10,000 employees serving more than 50 countries around the world, Domtar is driven by a commitment to turn sustainable wood fiber into useful products that people rely on every day. Domtar’s annual sales are approximately $5.3 billion and its common stock is traded on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Domtar’s principal executive office is in Fort Mill, South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.domtar.com.