Operation Backpack® 2016 is Now Underway!

Thousands of school-age kids in New York City are homeless. But thanks to you, more than 19,400 of them began the last school year with brand new, filled backpacks -- looking and feeling as confident and prepared as their classmates! Operation Backpack® 2015 was a record-breaking success, thanks to the support of countless individuals, corporate partners and community groups who share our commitment to the academic success of our most vulnerable students. But don't take our word for it: meet some of the students who benefited from your efforts.

Operation Backpack® 2016 is currently underway! Join New York City's largest back-to-school drive and together we can help kids in need succeed. Click on the options below to get started.

To speak to us about sponsorship opportunities, underwriting the cost of school supplies and other significant ways to help, please contact Rachel Weinstein.


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. Indeed, 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. This year, thanks to the generosity of thousands of people who live, work or care about New York City, we were able to give every student living in a homeless or domestic violence shelter who needed one, a new, full backpack.

Click here to meet Didi, one young man who benefited from Operation Backpack® and now gives back to the effort. Didi lived with his mother in our shelter on the Upper West Side. Now he's headed off to college, but Didi continues to volunteer when school is out.

Anyone can have a tough day, even Kevin Bacon. But can you imagine how a homeless child must feel on the first day of school?