Yearly program provides at-risk youth across Canada with a backpack full
of school supplies
TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Start2Finish, in partnership with
Canadian office solutions provider OfficeMax Grand & Toy, today kicked
off the Toronto portion of its annual Backpack Packing Day. The program
equips students in low-income communities across the nation with a
backpack full of school supplies.
"Our work with Start2Finish is one way our employees, our company and
our vendor partners can give back to the communities in which we live
and work," said Marla Allan, Vice President of Human Resources,
OfficeMax Grand & Toy. "For our many hundreds of volunteers, the
Backpack Program is an important reminder of what is at stake for all
of the Canadian children currently living at or below the poverty line.
At OfficeMax Grand & Toy, we believe that every child deserves a
This year's Backpack Packing Days are being held in Toronto, Hamilton,
and Halifax, where hundreds of corporate volunteers and community
groups will pack over 7,500 backpacks with school essentials.
OfficeMax Grand & Toy and Start2Finish have partnered for eight years to
support Start2Finish's mission of breaking the cycle of child poverty
by providing ongoing educational support to Canada's at risk children
from Grade 1 through to their graduation from high school.
Past Start2Finish scholarship recipients also join the Backpack Program
packing events to give back to the various programs that have had such
positive impact on their lives.
"I want to sincerely thank Start2Finish and all of its members and
volunteers and partners who have contributed countless hours over the
years to provide impeccable support and services to kids in need. I
should know, I am one of them. I have been awarded the scholarship
four times and have a strong support system with the Start2Finish
family," said Shazmeera Qadri, Start2Finish scholarship recipient.
"Having gone through many hardships and struggles I know that success
has no elevator, you must take the stairs. But it is great to know
that with any hurdle that I may have, there is a group of amazing and
passionate people who continue to invest and believe in me to see me
reach that top floor. Thank you Start2Finish," she added.
Since 2000, Start2Finish has provided almost 66,000 students with
backpacks, valued at more than $7.5 million. Poverty remains an ongoing
challenge faced by many students, driving the need for this program.
This year, Start2Finish will donate 2,200 backpacks to 34 high needs
schools in Toronto and another 5,300 across Canada.
"The Start2Finish Backpack Program is unlike any other program. It is a
starting point for a comprehensive, year-long approach to eradicate low
academic standards among Canada's one million children living in
poverty," said Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder of
Start2Finish, and two-time Grey Cup champion. "We believe every
Canadian child deserves the tools to succeed and we provide those
The various Start2Finish programs have positively impacted over 76,000
children across Canada. In partnership with OfficeMax Grand & Toy, the
Backpack Program continues to help thousands of children annually.
The backpack packing days would not be possible without the generous
donations from the following companies: Acme, Crayola Canada, Elmer,
3M, Acco, Staedtler, Pentel, Newell, Bic, Maxell, Winnable, Zebra,
Dixon, Dominion Blueline, Energizer.
About OfficeMax Grand & Toy
OfficeMax Grand & Toy is an affiliate of Office Depot, Inc. and a
leading provider of workplace products and solutions serving business
customers in Canada for over 130 years. From the latest technology,
interiors and furniture, everyday office supplies and facility
resources to a wide range of print and document services, we provide
workplace innovation that enables our customers to work better.
Start2Finish is a national nonprofit organization that works to empower
children of low-income families through an innovative Fitness Literacy
Model. Established in 2000 as KidsFest and rebranded to Start2Finish in
2011, it is supported by donors and volunteers, and sponsored by
Wonder+, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Scotiabank, George Weston Limited and
TD Canada Trust. For more information on Start2Finish programs or
volunteering please visit: www.start2finishonline.org.
SOURCE: OfficeMax Grand&Toy
For further information:
For more information, contact:
Director of Volunteer and Community Relations, Start2Finish
1-888-320-8844 ext. 206
Environics Communications, Inc. (for OfficeMax Grand & Toy)