Thursday, August 16, 2007

Office Depot Donates 300,000 Backpacks

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. —The Office Depot Foundation, the independent foundation serving as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot, is providing children with backpacks in order to help them get ready for school.

In all, 300,000 backpacks will be donated to a variety of non-profit organizations and schools across the U.S. and Canada through the 2007 Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program. The recipients, in turn, will provide the backpacks to children they serve through their programs or in their classrooms.

“The National Backpack Program represents one of the most exciting and meaningful ways in which the Foundation and Office Depot demonstrate our commitment to good corporate citizenship," said Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. "By placing backpacks containing essential school supplies into the hands of kids, we feel we are giving them the important tools they need to start school with confidence."

For the first time, the 2007 backpacks will come in five different colors, including blue, red, purple, green, gold, aqua and brown. Designed specifically to meet the needs of students in grades K-5, the backpacks feature two front pockets, a net pocket on the side, and wide padded straps for comfort and support. Each backpack contains a pencil pouch complete with a ruler, four crayons, a glue stick, a pen, a pencil, a pencil sharpener and an eraser.

Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., Office Depot has annual sales of over $15.4 billion, and employs approximately 52,000 associates around the world. Currently, the company sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 43 countries. As of June 2007, Office Depot had 1,186 retail stores in North America and another 369 stores, either company-owned, licensed or franchised, in other parts of the world.

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot. It strives to make a positive impact on many lives in many communities around the world and supports a variety of programs that enhance the quality of life for children, strengthen communities, encourage local and global economic growth, and empower schools and non-profit organizations.

In seven years, the National Backpack Program has provided almost 1.5 million backpacks to needy children. This year, five national organizations will help distribute the backpacks, including Communities In Schools, Kids In Need Foundation, Feed the Children, National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, and National Foundation for Women Legislators. These backpacks will brighten the back-to-school experience for 300,000 kids. It's a strong example of a major corporation giving back.

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