Volunteers of America-Greater New York's signature community service campaign
This year, we faced an unprecedented challege.
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 VOA-Greater New York on our fundraising page to support this important work.
To send a check, make it out to VOA-Greater New York. Checks can be sent to:
VOA-Greater New York
135 West 50th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10020
- 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®
September 4, 2023
PIX 11 and News12 Bronx reported on VOA-GNY's 2023 Operation Backpack® giveaway for students
PIX 11 and News12 Bronx reported on VOA-GNY's 2023 Operation Backpack® giveaway for students living at Legacy Family Residence, one of our family shelters in Brooklyn.
July 20, 2023
School Supplies are Vital to a Student’s Academic Readiness: Op-Ed by VOA-GNY Assistant Vice President Leslie Armstrong
In an op-ed published by amNY, Leslie Armstrong, VOA-GNY's Assistant Vice President
In an op-ed published by amNY, Leslie Armstrong, VOA-GNY's Assistant Vice President of NYC Emergency Housing and Shelter Services, shares the importance of our Operation Backpack® campaign in helping students experiencing homelessness start the school year on an even playing field with their peers.
August 16, 2022
Meg Oliver, reporter for CBS, speaks to VOA-Greater New York client Krystal and her son Kyle, who
Meg Oliver, reporter for CBS, speaks to VOA-Greater New York client Krystal and her son Kyle, who has received several backpacks through Operation Backpack®. The segment features VOA-Greater New York board member Paige Davis and program director Anton Nimblett.