OPERATION BACKPACK

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Operation Backpack

WHAT IS OPERATION BACKPACK?

There are currently about 32,000 homeless persons living in shelters within New York City's five boroughs. Eleven thousand of that total are children, and many of those students are forced to begin the school year without the necessary supplies. Operation Backpack benefits homeless children in the Greater New York area by outfitting them with backpacks full of new school supplies, and raises community awareness about the needs of disadvantaged children.

NEW YORK METS AND GLAVINE'S INVOLVEMENT

During his tenure with the New York Mets, Tom Glavine served as a spokesperson of the program, learning about the concept through the MLB Players Trust.

"There's a lot of great causes and a lot of great things people are trying to do," Glavine said in an article on Mets.com (8/3/05). "As an athlete, name recognition can carry a lot of weight. To me, it's kind of a no-brainer, if you're able to get behind a cause and people will get involved."

On August 3, 2005, Glavine, along with Marlon Anderson, Cliff Floyd, Gerald Williams and David Wright, was on hand at Morton's Steakhouse in New York helping to launch the program, dining with about 40 children.

Glavine said he was struck by how much a simple backpack can really mean these days.

"You don't always expect them to get excited about anything to do with school, but they do," Glavine said. "It's kind of their thing. They have concern for it and they're proud of how it looks. It's kind of an extension of their personality. They want it to be cool like they are."

The 2005 drive resulted in full backpacks for more than 7,000 New York City children, and an additional 3,000 backpacks sent to the Houston Board of Education for children displaced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina.

OPERATION BACKPACK PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

Glavine 2005 Promotional Poster (pdf)
Glavine and Paul Lo Duca 2006 Promotional Poster (pdf)

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Operation Backpack Web Site
Donate To Operation Backpack