Project: Back to School Gives Backpacks to Over 3,000 Homeless Students


At the conclusion of the fifth Project: Back to School, my fourth drive, I am still in awe of how many people can come together to make this drive a success. At the beginning of the summer we began our annual outreach to recruit businesses, schools, and libraries to come on board by hosting a drive. For the last three weeks we have been rewarded by seeing the results of our many phone calls and e-mails.

We’ve received box after box of pencils, notebooks, backpacks, and more, as each location sent in their supplies, as well as hundreds of individuals who called, donated online, or e-mailed asking any way they could help. With more than 70 places hosting drives, we had spectacular result. Every year I am astonished at the amount of people who’s efforts come together seamlessly to make this project work.


It begins with the personnel who planned and executed a drive in their work place, SL Green Realty Corp who held drives in 30 of their office locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, or the drivers from Manhattan Mini Storage who picked up supplies from all over the city, or the students of the Ramaz School, who every year for the last four years have put together hundreds of bags for the drive, or Mr. G from PIX11 who tirelessly promotes the drive year after year. It is successful through everyone who picked up a backpack and a pack of markers or crayons and dropped it in a box at their local library branch in Brooklyn and Queens, or a Manhattan Mini Storage location. As an outstanding example, Jasper Stoch, a student at Poly Prep Day School stood in front of a Staples location and collected money and donations for our efforts.

The drive is carried on through the hard work of volunteers like the employees of AIG or the Lenox Day Habilitation Program who helped fill nearly 1,500 of our 3,100 bags that are being distributed. Through these hundreds of acts and the result of thousands of donations, especially from our partner the Unitied Federation of Teachers, it’s no small miracle that we are able to collect such a wonderful array of supplies that span every age and get them in the hands of local children so quickly.

I am so grateful for the support that has been shown from every part of New York City and am honored to be a part of such a worthwhile drive. Thank you.