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Help Us Stuff Pencil Pouches!

Operation Backpack® (OBP) is the premier community service project of Volunteers of America-Greater New York. It's never too early to start fundraising, and we want to know how you're getting involved! Please keep us informed if you're planning to create a fundraising team or if you'd like to become an official OBP sponsor.  

We also have a new way to contribute. Last year, PromaxBDA and Caleb and Calder Sloan's Awesome Foundation chose to support Operation Backpack® by stuffing pencil pouches for over 5,000 students entering Pre-K through K and grades 1 through 4. It was the first year we pre-packed these pouches, and it made the process of receiving, quality controlling, and assembling 20,000 backpacks at our annual Sort Week(s) in August noticeably more efficient! 

We're looking to do it again, but we need your help! Stuffing pencil pouches is a great team-building activity and it can be done any time before August. We need large groups (50 or more people) for this task, and can easily accommodate any number of individuals who would like to volunteer from your corporate or community organization. It's also a great way for employees and their families to volunteer together. 

In order to participate, your organization would procure the materials needed, based on our
Operation Backpack® required lists. We are more than happy to help assist in the ordering process to obtain what you need. Then, you can set up a time and place for your team to get together. You can do this at your office or, with some planning, we could host you at our Sort Space location. 

A sample list of items included in the pencil case are:

Grades 1-4

  • Pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, glue sticks, white glue, safety scissors, and post-it notes

Grades 9-12

  • Pencils, pens (blue red, and black), highlighters, erasers, index cards, and USB flash drives

We also encourage volunteers to leave handwritten notes in the pencil pouch, wishing the children a successful school year — "Good luck on your first day of school!"

Operation Backpack® relies 100% on the support of the community, and we could truly use your help at this time to ensure that every child living in a shelter, who needs one, receives a new backpack full of supplies before the first day of school. 

If you're interested, please reach out to Andrew Zibell via email or at (212) 496-4307.

Become a Corporate Sponsor for Operation Backpack® 2019