PromaxBDA and Caleb and Calder Sloan's Awesome Foundation Partners with Operation Backpack®

This year, Volunteers of America-Greater New York was invited to play a special role in the PromaxBDA conference, an annual gathering of marketing, promotion, and broadcast professionals from around the world. Conference attendees were given the opportunity to participate in a community service project benefiting Operation Backpack®. Chris Sloan, founder of Caleb and Calder Sloan's Awesome Foundation, heard about the mission of Operation Backpack® and, along with the support of PromaxBDA and its member organizations, raised $50,000 to purchase the supplies to fill more than 5,300 pencil pouches for students in Pre-K and Kindergarten, and 1st-4th Grade. Media organizations including 2C Creative, A+E Networks, Debmar-Mercury, Discovery and Science, FX Networks, Ion, loyalkaspar, Man Made Music, NBC Universal, and Viacom met the call to help provide funding for these supplies.

In addition to the project, Rachel Weinstein, VP of Communications and External Relations, presented on the crucial role that Operation Backpack® plays in helping children who live in homeless and domestic violence shelters across New York City feel more prepared with a brand new backpack full of supplies on the first day of school. After sharing a video that featured three lives impacted by Operation Backpack®, she spoke about the original inspiration behind the campaign, the importance of getting support from the community, and how the simple act of receiving a new backpack can make a world of difference for a child who is homeless.

"The thread that runs through each of these young people’s stories," began Weinstein," is that someone believed in them, which in turn, caused them to believe in themselves, as capable of achieving a life different from the one they were currently experiencing."

As a result of the incredible effort of all parties involved, we are pleased to report that we were able to fulfill the amount of pencil pouches that we needed for the Pre-K-Kindergarten and 1st-4th Grade levels! Thank you again to PromaxBDA for making Operation Backpack® the focus of their community service project and the Caleb and Calder Sloan's Awesome Foundation for their enthusiasm and support. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with both organizations.

Adopting a product or supply that goes in a backpack, like pencil pouches, is a fantastic way to support us directly. If you're interested in making an impact on the lives of 18,000+ children who are homeless and live in your community, please contact Andrew Zibell.

Thank you to the following friends for their adoption of items!
Alex Rembac, Sterling Engagements - Highlighters
American Prison Data Systems - Subject Dividers
Malachite Capital Management - Calculators
National Financial Partners - Watercolors
Walgreens/Duane Reade - USB Flash Drives

Photos from the Promax BDA Conference