National Backpack Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – To help children prepare for the new school year, the Office Depot Foundation donated more than 3,100 book bags to children served by non-profit organizations and schools in the Charlotte area Tuesday afternoon.

The donations were announced during a special “Back-to-School Celebration” Tuesday at the Office Depot store located at 8658 J.W. Clay Blvd. in Charlotte.

The Office Depot Foundation has given away more than 2.3 million backpacks and book bags to deserving children since it established its National Backpack Program 10 years ago.

“Every year, we have seen our book bags bring hope to children whose families might not be able to afford to buy them a new one,” says Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. “Parents and teachers alike tell us that we truly are helping children to build self-confidence, boost self-esteem and achieve greater success in the classroom – all as a result of being properly prepared for school.”

The non-profit organizations, schools and agencies scheduled to receive book bags in conjunction with the donation event include:

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • A Child’s Place of Charlotte
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Athletic League
  • NeXus Urban Serve
  • Trips for Kids Charlotte (with children)
  • YMCA of Greater Charlotte

To distribute book bags in 2010, the Foundation is hosting a number of “Back-to-School Celebrations” in cities across the U.S. – five of which will include Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy Impala in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™.

Thousands more book bags are being given to children through the Office Depot Foundation’s partnerships with national non-profit organizations – including the Tony Stewart Foundation, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Feed The Children, the Kids In Need Foundation, Nourish America, Zach Bonner’s Little Red Wagon Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators. For the third consecutive year, donations will be made to children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

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