This Week On FM Magazine: Operation Backpack® For New York’s Kids

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From Left: Corinne Rello-Anselmi, Dep. Commissioner, Dept. of Education; Rachel Weinstein, VP at VOA-Greater New York; Paige Davis, Operation Backpack Spokesperson and Broadway star; Claire Altman, CEO of VOA-Greater New York; Eric Gies, Bessemer Managing Dir. and VOA Board Chair. (Photo courtesy of voa-gny.org)

From Left: Corinne Rello-Anselmi, Dep. Commissioner, Dept. of Education; Rachel Weinstein, VP at VOA-Greater New York; Paige Davis, Operation Backpack Spokesperson and Broadway star; Claire Altman, CEO of VOA-Greater New York; Eric Gies, Bessemer Managing Dir. and VOA Board Chair. (Photo courtesy of voa-gny.org)

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Deb Gordon’s guest was Rachel Weinstein, Vice President/Chief Development and Communications Officer at Volunteers of America® Greater New York, spotlighting the launch of Operation Backpack® 2014. Operation Backpack®, which Ms. Weinstein, started about 14 years ago, is an annual campaign to collect brand new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies for the thousands of children living in New York City homeless and domestic violence shelters.

Ms. Weinstein talked about the importance of ensuring that all backpacks given to these young people are brand new and non-distinct, so as not to distinguish the kids who are in need from other kids in their class. “We want them to look all different from each other –at least the outside– so that no one at school can say oh, there’s a shelter kid with one of those shelter backpacks” stated Ms. Weinstein.

Ms. Weinstein discussed the positive impact the filled backpacks have on the young people who receive them, providing a sense of normalcy to their otherwise chaotic lives, and allowing them to look and feel more like their classmates. The backpacks also allow these children to start the school year feeling prepared, confident and ready to learn; and also help to relieve some of the financial burdens of their parents.

In addition, Ms. Weinstein informed the audience about some of the other programs provided by Volunteers of America® Greater New York, which is one of the oldest and largest human services organizations and provides a variety of services to help homeless families and individuals in shelters. The organization is currently expanding its reach to provide homeless veterans in our communities with the critical care and vital services that they need.

OPERATION BACKPACK® 2014 began on Monday, July 14th and continues through August 8th. Brand new backpacks, school supplies and monetary donations are currently being accepted. For more information, visit OperationBackpackNYC.org.

Tough Day: Operation Backpack PSA featuring actor Kevin Bacon

–Deb Gordon/Fresh 102.7


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