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Operation Backpack 2015 Marks 10 years With Broadway's Paige Davis as Spokesperson

The annual drive collects school-supply-filled backpacks for thousands of children living in New York City's shelters.

Paige Davis with two young volunteers.
(courtesy of Volunteers of America)

Volunteers of America-Greater New York has announced the return of Operation Backpack, its annual drive to collect new backpacks filled with brand-new, grade-specific school supplies for thousands of children living in New York City's homeless and domestic violence shelters. For the 10th year in a row, Broadway actress Paige Davis (Chicago) serves as spokesperson for the charity.

Operation Backpack will kick off July 13 and continues through August 7. This year, the organization's goal is to outfit 20,000 New York City children with backpacks in time for the first day of the school year. The average cost of a filled backpack is $81. Receiving a filled backpack gives children the supplies they need to do their work, and allows them to go to school with more hope and confidence, looking and feeling more like their housed classmates.

Paige Davis is well-known as the host of TLC's Trading Spaces and OWN's Home Made Simple. On Broadway, she has appeared in Chicago and Boeing-Boeing.

"Each year I am inspired by the enormous effort it takes on the part of Volunteers of America staff to provide this important service, not only to the kids in their shelters but homeless children citywide," said Davis in a statement. "It is such a simple, practical way to help these children. You go to the store, select the perfect backpack, fill it with the supplies on the list VOA provides, and you know it will go to a child who rarely gets anything new."

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