NEW YORK – Before heading to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, veteran outfielder Chris Young detoured downtown to stuff school supplies into backpacks for homeless kids and shine a spotlight on Volunteers of America’s annual Operation Backpack program.
The Greater New York VOA affiliate recruited volunteers like Young over a three-week long period to help in sorting supplies and assembling backpacks for distribution to shelters.
“As a kid, getting new school supplies was a fun time for me,” Young said. “It marked a new beginning, the start to a new school year, a possibility of meeting new friends and setting new goals.”
Operation Backpack relies solely on the support from community volunteers and anticipates donating more than 20,000 grade-specific backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters in New York.
So Young pulled up his sleeves and got to work on an assembly line, stuffing backpacks with notebooks, pens, rulers and dictionaries. The 31-year-old Texan was eager to jump right in alongside volunteers from various other organizations and corporations.
“I’m happy that programs like this are out there to get the community involved in helping children and young adults get the supplies they need to help them reach their goals,” he said.
Major Leaguers have been supporting VOA’s Operation Backpack for many years. Earlier in the summer, Aaron Barrett, Craig Stammen and Michael Taylor from the Nationals assisted at a kickoff event in the greater DC area (read more here).
On the West Coast, Mark Canha, Sonny Gray, and Josh Reddick of the A’s posed for photos and used their social media accounts to promote the program for VOA’s Northern California Affiliate.
For more information please visit http://www.voa-gny.org/operation-backpack.