Thousands of school-age kids in New York City are homeless and nearly 25,000 live in homeless and domestic violence shelters. One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child's education. Since 2001, volunteers of Operation Backpack have been leading donation drives across the city, distributing new backpacks filled with school supplies to homeless children. These backpacks relieve parents of the financial burden of providing supplies and give children a sense of normalcy, helping them to look and feel more like their classmates.
In 2015, Kenneth Cole associates collected 143 backpacks, shaping our 2016 goal of 150 filled backpacks for 1st – 4th graders. This year, through the hard work and generosity of Kenneth Cole associates, we far surpassed our goal by collecting and filling 168 backpacks and raising enough additional funding to support 55 more students preparing for the school year.