Thursday, September 02, 2010

NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart and the Office Depot Foundation Team Up to Donate 4,000 Book Bags to Atlanta-Area Children in Need

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot® (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, and the Office Depot Foundation announced today that Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy Impala in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, will join the Foundation today, September 2, to donate 4,000 book bags to non-profit organizations and schools in the Atlanta area.

“The Foundation is tremendously excited to offer this award-winning program for the 10th consecutive year”

The donations will be made during a special “Back-to-School Celebration” event beginning at 4 p.m. local time at the Office Depot store located at 2625 Piedmont Road in Atlanta. In addition to Stewart, special guests will include Andrea Boone, commissioner of Constituent Services for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Saundy Hutto, director for new business development and marketing with Speedway Children’s Charities.

This year, the Office Depot Foundation is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its National Backpack Program. Since the program began in 2001, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation have donated approximately 2.3 million backpacks and book bags to children in need.

“The Foundation is tremendously excited to offer this award-winning program for the 10th consecutive year,” said Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation, who will participate in the event. “Every year, we have seen our backpacks and book bags bring hope to children whose families might not be able to afford to buy one for them. Parents and teachers alike tell us that we truly are helping children to build self-confidence, boost self-esteem and achieve greater success in the classroom – all as a result of being properly prepared for school.”

Stewart will help host the “Back-To-School Celebration” event as he prepares for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Emory Healthcare 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sunday, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN). He is a two-time Sprint Cup Series race winner at the 1.54-mile track. Stewart is partnering with the Office Depot Foundation for the second year in a row and is helping the organization donate more than 300,000 backpacks and book bags throughout this 2010 back-to-school season.

“I am very proud to partner with the Office Depot Foundation again this year and to be able to help kids in need across the country,” Stewart said. “I can tell you from experience how rewarding it is to see the look on these kids’ faces when they get a new book bag – it’s an automatic boost of confidence for them and helps them feel ready to take on the new school year just like everybody else. No matter what career path you choose in life, education is the foundation to success, and every kid deserves to head back to school with the tools they need to succeed.”

The non-profit organizations and schools scheduled to participate in the September 2 donation event include:

* Atlanta Public Schools
* Clayton County Schools
* DeKalb County School System/DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation
* Fulton Education Foundation
* CaringWorks
* CHRIS Kids, Inc.
* City of Refuge
* Communities In Schools of Atlanta
* Easter Seals North Georgia
* Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness, Inc.
* Metro Atlanta CASA
* SafeHouse Outreach
* Walter F. White Elementary School
* Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence

The Foundation is hosting more than 20 “Back-to-School Celebrations” in cities across the U.S. – five of which will include Tony Stewart. The Office Depot Foundation is partnering with a number of national non-profit organizations – including the Tony Stewart Foundation, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Feed The Children, the Kids In Need Foundation, Nourish America, Zach Bonner’s Little Red Wagon Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators – whose members participate in all 50 states. For the third consecutive year, donations will be made to children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.

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