The Office Depot Foundation Helps Prepare 400,000 Students for Back to School with the National Backpack Program

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Office Depot Foundation Every day, millions of kids carry their stuff to school in plastic grocery bags because they can’t afford a backpack.  One innovative way to tackle this problem is to put free backpacks or sackpacks into the hands of children who need them the most.  Suddenly, they’re just like other kids.  Suddenly, they have hope.

During the past 11 years, the Office Depot Foundation has provided more than 2.5 million backpacks to deserving children in local communities across North America and as far away as China through its National Backpack Program.

The Foundation will mark the 12th anniversary of the program this year by giving away approximately 400,000 colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies – the most it has ever donated in a single year.  But while these numbers are very large, the sackpacks make an impact on a singular level − one child at a time.  Keep reading to learn more!

Office Depot Foundation

Building on the success of its 11-year-old, award-winning National Backpack Program, the Office Depot Foundation plans to donate 400,000 new school sackpacks in seven colorful designs this year to help children around the world succeed in school.  These totally new sackpacks, which were specially designed for the Foundation, are more versatile than backpacks.  Highly contemporary in their design, they reflect and respond to changes in the ways that children are taking their materials to school.

"In keeping with our mission – Listen Learn Care − we’ve created these fun and exciting sackpacks in response to what kids have told us they like," says Foundation President Mary Wong.  "We are thrilled to donate these very cool sackpacks to more children in a single year than ever before."


Made from the same sturdy material as backpacks, the new sackpacks are water-resistant and lined to provide extra protection for their contents.  They feature strong ropes and have no metal parts.  The sackpacks come in seven different two-color combinations, each of which is highlighted by a unique print designed to match the color scheme.  Each sackpack contains a zippered pouch containing essential school supplies.  Three new designs are being introduced this year.

Intended primarily for use by students in grades K-5, the sackpacks also are suitable for older children – thus allowing the Foundation to expand the impact of this program in 2012.  The sackpack is compact and stores flat, yet still offers plenty of room for books and other school items.

Office Depot Foundation

The sackpacks will be donated throughout the summer as the Foundation launches the 12th year of its National Backpack Program.

Every Office Depot store in the United States will receive 50 sackpacks to give to non-profit organizations and schools in the community.  In addition, sackpacks will be donated through approximately 30 "Back-to-School Celebration" events in key Office Depot markets during the summer, as well as to a number of national non-profits serving children in the U.S. and, increasingly, around the world.

By the end of this year, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have donated more than 2.9 million backpacks and sackpacks to deserving children.

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Disclosure:  I received three sackpacks from Office Depot in order to facilitate this post.  All three of these sackpacks were donated to a local Houston middle school.  No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

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