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Press Release

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Gov. Scott Highlights Teacher School Supply Debit Card before Tax-Free Back-to-School Weekend

Delray Beach, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott highlighted the Teacher Supply Debit Card, which was a part of the Governor's 2013 legislative agenda. The Governor's Teacher Supply Debit Card unveiling is part of his effort to promote Florida's Tax Free Back-to-School weekend, which runs this Friday through Sunday (August 2nd to August 4th).

Office Depot Foundation

The Governor also joined the Office Depot Foundation which is donating 6,000 colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies to kids served by nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies in South Palm Beach County. At the event, the Governor was joined by Neil Austrian, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot; Elisa D. Garcia C., Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Office Depot; and Mary Wong, President of the Office Depot Foundation.

"In keeping with our mission - Listen Learn Care - we are committed to making a difference in children's lives by giving them tools to help them succeed in school and, ultimately, in life," says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong. "We are thrilled to know that we will reach our three millionth child this year, and grateful to Office Depot and our many supporters for giving us the opportunity to continue this program for its 13th year."

In 2013, the Foundation will donate 300,000 sackpacks to deserving children in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and a number of other countries through its National Backpack Program, which is now in its 13th year. By the end of this year, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have given away more than three million backpacks and sackpacks since the National Backpack Program began in 2001. In the past seven years alone, more than 100,000 Palm Beach County kids have benefitted from this award-winning initiative.

Office Depot has long been known for its support of teachers through its STAR Teacher loyalty program, which helps teachers stretch their back-to-school budgets. In addition, the Company is committed to supporting teachers throughout the year with resources including digital teacher planning tools, school supplies checklists and a full range of Common Core products.

The nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies scheduled to receive sackpacks on August 1 include:

  • Achievement Center for Children and Families
  • AVDA-Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse
  • Boca Helping Hands
  • Boynton Beach Police Department
  • Caridad Center
  • Congregation B'nai Israel
  • Delray Police Department
  • Hispano-Latino Cultural Alliance
  • Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
  • Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
  • Milagro Center
  • S. D. Spady Elementary
  • Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
  • Spirit of Giving Network
  • St. John Primitive Baptist Church
  • The School District of Palm Beach County
  • YMCA of South Palm Beach County

Also scheduled to participate are representatives from one of the Office Depot Foundation's national nonprofit partners, Operation Homefront.

The specially designed sackpacks come in six different color combinations with kid-friendly graphics. Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons. They do not have any Office Depot Foundation or Office Depot logos or markings.

Thousands of sackpacks are being given to kids through the Office Depot Foundation's continuing partnerships with 10 nonprofit organizations serving children nationally and internationally. The Foundation is collaborating with the AARP Experience Corps, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Feed The Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, Zach Bonner's Little Red Wagon Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Operation Homefront and Samaritan's Feet International.

Thousands more are being donated through Office Depot stores in hundreds of local communities and in partnership with Office Depot's Business Solutions Division in select cities.

More information about the National Backpack Program can be found on the Office Depot Foundation's Facebook page at To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation and its initiatives, go to You can follow the Foundation on Twitter at; the National Backpack Program's hashtag is #OfficeDepotFndnKids.