Operation Backpack®

Volunteers of America-Greater New York's signature community service campaign

This year, we faced an unprecedented challenge.

Family homelessness in New York City has been steadily on the rise in recent months—creating a greater demand for the school supplies we provide to children experiencing homelessness through Operation Backpack®. The educational resources we provide through Operation Backpack® play a critical role in higher rates of homework completion, class participation and, ultimately, graduation.

Despite this challenge, together we provided new, high-quality backpacks full of grade-appropriate school supplies to 19,000 students—the highest-ever number of children served through Operation Backpack®.

Thanks to your incredible generosity, these children returned to the classroom this year with new backpacks and the school supplies they need to not only thrive academically, but also get one step closer to breaking the cycle of family poverty.

Hundreds of partners and volunteers stepped up to make this possible. Watch our video recapping the 21st year of Operation Backpack® below.

How to Get Involved

  • DONATE. Make a gift to GOA-GNY on our fundraising page to support this important work.

    To send a check, make it out to Volunteers of America-Greater New York. Checks can be sent to:

    Volunteers of America-Greater New York
    135 West 50th Street, 9th Floor
    New York, NY 10020
  • FUNDRAISE. Create your own fundraising team and raise money among your colleagues, family and/or friends.

  • BE SOCIAL. Spread the word on social media by following and tagging @voagny on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
For other ways to get involved, contact us.
Phone: (212) 496-4389

About the Campaign

As an anti-poverty organization working to end homelessness in the Greater New York area by 2050, we know that helping children succeed in school is critical to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. We also know that having a full complement of school supplies plays a vital role in homework completion, class participation, and, ultimately, graduation.

For more than 20 years, VOA-GNY has given tens of thousands of children experiencing homelessness a sense of normalcy during the back-to-school season through Operation Backpack®. The children living in New York City homeless shelters rely on us each school year, and we rely on you—our corporate and community partners—to make this initiative possible through sponsorships, in-kind donations, and fundraising.

News About Operation Backpack®