About Operation Backpack

Family homelessness is at a record high in NYC with nearly 13,000 families and more than 23,000 children living in the City's homeless shelters.

What is Operation Backpack®?

It's the largest back-to-school drive in New York City for students who are homeless. The success of Operation Backpack® relies 100% on support from our community.
So, we need your help!

Family homelessness is at a record high in NYC with nearly 13,000 families and more than 23,000 children living in the City's homeless shelters. (1)

One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child's education. Every year since 2004, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been collecting and distributing new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies to children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters 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, their new backpacks allow 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. If you get the chance to see any of these kids receiving and exploring their backpacks you'd be taken aback. They are thrilled! This backpack can make the difference between a child excited to go to school and refusing to go at all.

Contact us at OperationBackpackNYC@voa-gny.org for more information. Operation Backpack® campaigns are held nationwide; find out more at www.operationbackpackUSA.org

1 NYC Department of Homeless Services website, as of 2/14/17.