What is Operation Backpack®?

It's the largest back-to-school drive in New York City for homeless students.
And we need your help!

Approximately 23,000 children live in NYC's homeless and domestic violence shelters.(1) One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child's education.

Each year since 2001, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been distributing new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies to homeless children throughout New York City. A filled backpack relieves parents of a financial burden and provides a sense of normalcy to the otherwise chaotic lives of these children, helping them to look and feel more like their classmates.

Most importantly, a filled backpack allows these children to start the school year feeling prepared and confident, with the knowledge that their education is important and that someone believes in them.

Get involved in Operation Backpack 2017! Click on the links above to learn about starting a drive, making a donation and becoming a vital partner.

Operation Backpack campaigns are held nationwide; we'll provide information on other drives as they become available.

1 NYC Department of Homeless Services website, as of 3/7/16.