With the beginning of the new school year fast approaching, the Office Depot Foundation announced today that it will donate more than 3,750 backpacks on Friday (8/7) to non-profit organizations and schools in the Dallas area to help children succeed in the classroom.
The donations will be made during a special “Back-to-School Backpack Celebration” beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Office Depot store located at 8330 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas. This year, the Office Depot Foundation is marking an extraordinary milestone by donating its two millionth backpack since the beginning of its National Backpack Program in 2001.
During the Dallas event, backpacks will be donated to the following designated recipients:
· Backpacks for Kids
· Buckner Children & Family Services of North Texas
· Collin County Advocacy Center
· Communities in Schools Dallas Region (CISDR)
· Dallas Independent School District
· Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas
· Rainbow Days, Inc.
· Sanders Claus
· Score a Goal in the Classroom
· The Salvation Army Greater Dallas Metroplex
· Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas
Special guests scheduled to participate in the presentation ceremony include:
· Pauline Medrano, City of Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, City Council District 2, representing Mayor Tom Leppert
· Steve Salazar, City of Dallas Councilman, District 6
· Phyllis Vermillion, Administrative Assistant, representing Dallas County Commissioner for District 1, Maurine Dickey
· John Wood, North Texas Regional Director, representing US Senator John Cornyn
· Clifford Sparks, representing State Senator Royce West
· Deion Sanders, NFL legend and founder of Sanders Claus
“The Office Depot Foundation believes strongly that we are helping children to build self-confidence, boost self-esteem and achieve greater success in the classroom – all as a result of being well-prepared for school,” states Mary Wong, President of the independent foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot (NYSE: ODP). “We are extremely pleased to be able to donate our two millionth backpack at a time when so many children and families are dealing with the impact of the economic downturn.”
While the scale of the Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program is global, it makes a difference on an individual level for every child it reaches. “Every child should be given a reason to be excited about going back to school,” said Cathey Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Rainbow Days. “It’s not just the backpacks or the supplies they are getting, it’s the sense of purpose and self-esteem that we’re striving to build.”
To distribute the backpacks, the Foundation is hosting 25 “Back-to-School Backpack Celebrations” in cities across the United States and Canada – five of which feature special appearances by Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot®/Old Spice Chevrolet Impala SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Thousands of backpacks also are being donated by Office Depot stores in hundreds of local communities and in collaboration with the Office Depot Business Solutions Division in selected cities.
Thousands more are being distributed through the Office Depot Foundation’s partnerships with eight national non-profit organizations – including the Tony Stewart Foundation, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, City Year, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Feed The Children, the Kids In Need Foundation, Nourish America and the National Foundation for Women Legislators, whose members will give backpacks to children in all 50 states. For the second consecutive year, backpack donations will be made to children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
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 help children succeed in school and in life; enable civil society (non-profit) organizations to become more efficient and effective; help people and businesses prepare for disasters, then recover and rebuild afterwards; strengthen local communities through grants, product donations and volunteerism; and encourage community development through entrepreneurship and economic innovation. For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.