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Operation Backpack® and Holiday Gift Drives

Operation Backpack®

Bring your office together to collect backpacks and school supplies for children living in New York City homeless and domestic violence shelters, then join us as a team at “Sort Week," when we pack the backpacks and prepare them for distribution. Since 2003, Operation Backpack® has provided new, top-quality backpacks and grade-specific school supplies to children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Last year we distributed 19,000 full backpacks - enough for every child who needed one. Not only does Operation Backpack® help children begin the school year with the supplies they need to do their work, it enables them to look and feel more like their classmates – and less like children in need – on that all-important first day of school.

Location: Your office and/or our Manhattan offices
Date: July-August; “Sort Week" scheduled for mid-August

If you would like to learn more about becoming an Official Operation Backpack® Sponsor, please contact Rachel Weinstein at rweinstein@voa-gny.org or (212) 496-4305.

Toys for the Holidays 

Collect age-appropriate toys and other gifts for children in our homeless and domestic violence shelters in New York City, preschoolers at our Early Learning Center in the South Bronx, and teens in our group homes in New Jersey, to ensure that no one is forgotten during the holidays. We also have a limited number of Secret Santa letters from children in our shelters and Early Learning Centers to which corporate groups may respond. Then join us for “Sort Week," when we pack the gifts and prepare them for distribution.

Location: Your office and/or our Manhattan offices
Date: November-December

Burt & Barbara's Gifts of the Heart

Collect small gifts that we can give to the older adults living in our residential programs. For many of these clients, VOA-Greater New York is their only “family." Burt and Barbara are two such clients who met and fell in love when they were were placed in VOA-Greater New York apartments, after Willowbrook State School was closed. Burt & Barbara's Gifts of the Heart is named after the couple, in honor of their love for each other.

Location: Your office
Date: February (Valentine's Day) and November-December (holidays); Year-round for birthdays and other milestones

To learn how your organization can participate, contact info@voa-gny.org.