NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart and the Office Depot Foundation Team Up to Donate 5,000 Backpacks to Indianapolis-Area Children in Need

By Auto News Log • July 19th, 2010

The Office Depot Foundation Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its National Backpack Program in 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Office Depot® (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, and the Office Depot Foundation announced today that Tony Stewart, an Indiana native and driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy Impala in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, will join the Foundation on Thursday, July 22, to donate more than 5,000 backpacks to non-profit organizations and schools in the Indianapolis area.

The backpack donations will be made during a special “Back-to-School Backpack Celebration” event beginning at 2 p.m. local time at the Office Depot store located at 12417 North Meridian Street in Carmel, Ind. In addition to Stewart, special guests scheduled to attend include Katherine Blane, representing Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), State Senator Mike Delph (R-29), State Representative Cindy Noe (R-87), Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman and Carmel City Council Member Ron Carter.

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 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 bring hope to children whose families might not be able to afford to buy them a new backpack. 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, who grew up in Columbus, Ind., and still resides there, will help host the backpack donation event as he prepares for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Brickyard 400 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sunday, July 25, 1 p.m. EDT, ESPN). He is a two-time winner of the prestigious 400-mile race. Stewart is partnering with the Office Depot Foundation for the second year in a row and will help the organization donate more than 300,000 backpacks throughout the 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 so many kids here in the Indianapolis area,” Stewart said. “This is a big year for the Office Depot Foundation because it is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its National Backpack Program, and I can tell you from experience how rewarding it is to see the look on these kids’ faces when they get a new backpack – 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. Of all the things I’ll do this weekend, participating in this program is definitely the most important.”

The non-profit organizations and schools selected to participate in the July 22 backpack donation event include:

• Backpack Attack
• Children’s Bureau
• Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention
• Covering Kids and Families
• Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust
• Indianapolis Public Schools
• Indianapolis Urban League

To distribute the backpacks in 2010, the Foundation will host 25 “Back-to-School Backpack Celebrations” in cities across the U.S. and Canada – five of which will include Tony Stewart. Thousands of backpacks also are being donated by Office Depot stores in hundreds of local communities and in collaboration with Office Depot’s Business Solutions Division in select cities.

Thousands more backpacks will be given to children through the Office Depot Foundation’s partnerships 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 once again will donate backpacks in all 50 states. For the third consecutive year, backpack donations will be made to children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.

For Office Depot store locations, please click on Office Depot: Your Local Office Supply Store to find locations near you.

For more information on the Office Depot Foundation, go to www.officedepotfoundation.org/.

About the Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation (tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3)) that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that help children succeed in school and in life; enable civil society (non-profit) organizations to become more efficient and effective; help people and businesses prepare for disasters, then recover and rebuild afterwards; strengthen local communities through grants, product donations and volunteerism; and encourage community development through entrepreneurship and economic innovation. For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.

About Office Depot

Every day, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides products and services to its customers through 1,587 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and a $4.2 billion e-commerce operation. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $12.1 billion, and employs about 41,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 52 countries.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. General press information can be found at:

http://mediarelations.officedepot.com. Media looking to access digital assets and news, please visit http://socialpress.officedepot.com.

To become a fan of Office Depot on Facebook and receive exclusive content, offers and more, please visit www.facebook.com/officedepot. To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/officedepot.

Contacts:

Lisa Schmitz
Edelman for Office Depot Racing
312-240-2604 (office)
773-459-5337 (mobile)
lisa.schmitz@edelman.com

Leon Rubin
Office Depot Foundation
706-867-0278 (office)
561-251-8075 (mobile)
lrubin@jkggroup.com

Source: Courtesy of MATTER, Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing

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