QUEENS, NY – With the new school year around the corner, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is urging Queens 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.

“According to the Coalition for the Homeless, nearly 115,000 New York City schoolchildren experienced homelessness at some point last year,” said Borough President KATZ. “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 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 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.”

Borough President Katz’s office is accepting donations of new backpacks and other school supplies now through Wednesday, August 28 at Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Donations will be accepted on the first floor of Borough Hall in a box located just 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 Queens Borough Hall are anonymous and are not tax-deductible. All donated items will be distributed to homeless children throughout New York City.

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 Coalition also advocates for proven, housing-based solutions to end homelessness.

This is the sixth year in a row that Borough President Katz is partnering with the Coalition for the Homeless to host a “Project: Back to School” drop-off site at Queens Borough Hall.

Queens Borough Hall can be easily reached by mass transit by taking the E or F subway lines to the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station.

Follow Borough President Katz via @QueensBPKatz on Twitter and Facebook