Borough President Katz and Sarah Murphy, the director of Development for the Coalition for the Homeless, posed with the backpacks and other school supplies that were dropped off at Borough Hall by contributors donating to the 2018 “Project: Back to School.”
By Michael V. Cusenza
With the 2019-2020 school year just a couple weeks away, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is urging World’s Borough residents to donate backpacks and other school supplies as part of “Project: Back to School,” an annual drive organized by the Coalition for the Homeless that provides homeless children with backpacks filled with the items they need to succeed in the classroom.
Katz’s office is accepting donations of new backpacks and other school supplies now through Wednesday, Aug. 28 at Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens. Donations will be accepted on the first floor of Borough Hall in a box located inside the front entrance in the main lobby.
In addition to backpacks, the Coalition for the Homeless says supplies that can be donated include #2 pencils, hard and soft pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, crayons (24-count boxes), colored pencils, washable markers, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, composition notebooks, binders, ruled paper, safety scissors, pocket folders and scientific calculators.
Donations dropped off at Borough Hall are anonymous and are not tax-deductible, Katz noted. All donated items will be distributed to homeless children across the five boroughs.
This is the sixth year in a row that Katz is partnering with the Coalition for the Homeless to host a “Project: Back to School” drop-off site at Borough Hall.
“According to the Coalition for the Homeless, nearly 115,000 New York City schoolchildren experienced homelessness at some point last year,” Katz said. “Let’s make sure all kids have a chance to get the school year off to a good start with the supplies they need.”
The Coalition for the Homeless provides food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training and youth programs to thousands of homeless New Yorkers each day. The organization also advocates for proven, housing-based solutions to end homelessness.
“The Coalition for the Homeless has been thrilled to partner with Queens Borough President Katz in Project: Back to School for the past six years,” said Dave Giffen, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “The backpacks and school supplies so generously donated by the people of Queens help level the playing field for homeless girls and boys, allowing them to walk into that first day of school fully equipped and ready for class. More than 21,000 children will sleep in NYC homeless shelters tonight, and so we are truly grateful to BP Katz for her dedication to helping so many of them start the new school year off right.”
It’s been an eventful August for Katz. She made the “Project: Back to School” announcement on Tuesday, a week after Tiffany Cabán conceded the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney to the borough president.
“There is still so much work to be done here in Queens—and you better believe I’m going to keep fighting,” Cabán said. “To every young person, to every woman, to every person of color, to every queer person, every single human being who was inspired by the campaign we built—you are next. And I promise, I will be the first one knocking doors for you.”