HSBC Bank Awards Volunteers of America $200,000 Grant in Support of Operation Backpack®


Two-year Gift Will Buy Backpacks and School Supplies for Thousands of Homeless Children in Three Metropolitan Areas

(New York, NY) Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA) is proud to announce a $200,000 grant from the HSBC Bank for OPERATION BACKPACK®, its annual campaign to provide thousands of homeless children with brand new backpacks and school supplies in time for school.

The two-year grant will fund Operation Backpack® 2013 and 2014 in three metropolitan areas served by VOA affiliates:

  • $50,000 for the San Francisco Bay Area
  • $50,000 for the Greater Ohio/Chicago Area
  • $100,000 for the Greater New York area

For the Greater New York program, HSBC employees will join hundreds of other volunteers during “Sort Week” to sort grade-specific school supplies into thousands of backpacks, all donated by more than 160 corporate partners. The backpacks will be given to children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters across New York City. At the end of the campaign, HSBC employees will have the opportunity to see the Bank’s “Donations in Action” when they help distribute the backpacks to young students living in one of Volunteers of America-Greater New York’s family shelters.

Rachel Weinstein, Vice President/Chief Development and Communications Officer at Volunteers of America-Greater New York, speaks of the importance of the program. “We need to do everything we can to ensure the children in our care stay in school and earn a high school diploma, which is essential to breaking the cycle of family homelessness. A new backpack and school supplies can make the difference between a child being excited to go to school and refusing to go at all. The cost of a single backpack with necessary supplies can easily exceed $100 – especially for a high-school student who needs items such as a scientific calculator, a thesaurus, and a flash drive. Through the HSBC’s generous support of OPERATION BACKPACK®, we’ll be able to equip thousands more children with new, full backpacks.”

“HSBC understands how important it is for children to want to go to school,” said Heather Nesle, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Bank USA. “OPERATION BACKPACK® helps homeless children to look and feel more like their classmates by providing them with the same new supplies and backpacks. We are proud to support a program that gives these children a better chance of succeeding in school, and beyond.”

More than 160 companies, schools, community, civic and religious groups participate in the Greater New York campaign, with new partners joining each year. A public campaign will run from July 15 through August 9. The grade-specific backpacks will be distributed to children in shelters across the city in time for the start of the school year.

For a list of the supplies required for each grade visit

In 2012, children in more than 100 shelters across the city benefited from OPERATION BACKPACK®. This year, Volunteers of America-Greater New York’s goal for the drive is 15,000 new, filled backpacks.


Volunteers of America-Greater New York’s back-to-school drive began in 1999 as a small effort to collect school supplies for the children in its shelters. In 2001, with the support of the corporate community, the effort grew exponentially. In 2004, the campaign was re-branded “OPERATION BACKPACK®” to reflect its ambitious, new goal: to give every child in the New York City shelter system who needs one, a new backpack filled with grade-specific school supplies. OPERATION BACKPACK® is so successful that it is now held in VOA locations across the country.


Volunteers of America, Inc. is one of the oldest and largest human services organizations in the nation. Locally, the Greater New York affiliate has more than 90 social services programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City, the Mid-Hudson region, in Northern New Jersey and shortly, on Long Island. Award-winning programs, skilled and dedicated staff, and caring volunteers bring relief to tens of thousands of the most vulnerable men, women and children every year including homeless individuals and families, youth about to age out of foster care, preschool children with developmental delays, youth aging out of foster care and families recovering from domestic violence. Volunteers of America-Greater New York is one of the largest provider of transitional and supportive housing for veterans in New York City.


With total assets of $183.9bn as of 31 March 2013 (US GAAP), HSBC Bank USA serves 3 million customers through retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, private banking, asset management, and global banking and markets segments. It operates more than 250 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 165 in New York State as well as branches in: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Oregon; Virginia; and Washington State. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.