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Industry rallies for annual Operation Backpack

Leaders of New York City’s real estate industry will partner with Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) to help provide 20,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children living in the homeless and domestic violence shelters in New York City.

This year marks the 13th anniversary of VOA-GNY’s pioneering program called OPERATION BACKPACK.

OPERATION BACKPACK makes sure that every needy child living in New York City shelters is fully prepared when the school bell rings for the first time in September.

Operation-Backpack-header

Starting on Monday, July 11 and running through Friday, August 5, VOA-GNY is asking the public to purchase, fill and donate brand new, good quality backpacks and bring them to official drop locations across the City.  VOA-GNY is also seeking financial donations to help fill the 10,000 empty backpacks donated by the NYC Department of Education with critically-needed, grade-specific supplies for students from pre-K through grade 12.  The average cost of a filled backpack is $81 – an expense very few families in homeless shelters can afford.

Among the members of the real estate industry contributing are RXR Reality, Brookfield Properties, Cushman & Wakefield, Durst, The Ashley & The Aldyn, and W.P. Carey Inc. The industry’s contributions to the success of OPERATION BACKPACK range from organizing backpack drives for their tenants to donating valuable in-kind services. As it has done in years past, RXR Reality is donating more than 17,000 square feet of space, which serves as a staging area for the thousands of backpacks.

It is anticipated that more than 150 companies and community groups will participate in this year’s campaign, with many new partners already signed up to support this program.  Providing major financial support this year are HSBC, HarperCollins Publishers, Duane Reade/Walgreens and Agnes Varis Trust. Generous in-kind sponsors include The New York City Department of Education, FedEx and Raymour & Flanagin.

 Here’s how to help:

  • New Yorkers are urged to purchase and fill new backpacks and bring them to official drop locations from July 11th to August 5th.  Visit www.OperationBackpackNYC.org for details on Official Drop Locations and to print out a list of supplies for each grade.
  •  Financial donations to VOA-GNY will help the charity purchase necessary items including flash drives, scientific calculators, student planners and more. Financial donations can be made at www.crowdrise.com/OperationBackpackNYC.
  • VOA-GNY is seeking additional corporate sponsors.  To become a financial or in-kind sponsor, please contact Rachel Weinstein at rweinstein@voa-gny.org or 212-496-4305.
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