Operation Backpack®

Operation Backpack® 2019 planning is underway!

In 2018, thanks to our Official Sponsors and 332 corporate and other community partners, Operation Backpack® was able to provide 20,000 homeless children with a new backpack full of every grade-specific school supply they needed in time for the first day of school. This way, they started the year looking and feeling more like their housed classmates and less like a child in need.

Watch a video about the impact that Operation Backpack® makes in the lives of NYC students who are homeless:

Get Involved in the 2019 Campaign:

  • OFFICIAL SPONSORSHIP. To help underwrite the 2019 campaign and enjoy the benefits that come with sponsorship, watch this video or contact Rachel Weinstein, Operation Backpack® founder at rweinstein@voa-gny.org or (212) 496-4305.

  • DONATE. To make an online donation, visit the Operation Backpack® fundraising page. To send a check, make it out to Volunteers of America-Greater New York and include Operation Backpack® in the subject line. Checks can be sent to:

Volunteers of America-Greater New York
135 West 50th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Attn: Rachel Weinstein

For other ways to get involved contact us.

Operation Backpack® News

About Operation Backpack®

One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it can have on a child's education. Frequent school transfers and the stigma associated with living in a shelter add up to great hardship for these children. If not for Operation Backpack®, many of these children would begin the school year with another disadvantage: unlike their classmates, they would enter the classroom with no backpack and few, if any, school supplies. So on day one, these kids would be identified as "disadvantaged" or worse – "shelter kids" –setting the stage for their entire school year.

But the New York City community and beyond has the opportunity to change this story. The success of Operation Backpack® relies 100% on support from the community in the form of financial underwriting, donations of product and services and spreading the word and engaging others in the campaign. Each year since 2004, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been distributing new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies to homeless children throughout New York City. This year, thanks to the generosity of thousands of people who live in, work in, or otherwise care about New York City, we believe that we will be able to give every student living in a homeless or domestic violence shelter who needs one, a new, full backpack.

Watch a video about three Operation Backpack® supporters who show steadfast commitment to the cause:

Watch a video about why Kevin Bacon believes in the mission of Operation Backpack®: