Helping our communities start the school year PROUD
For the third year in a row, Office Depot helped deserving students get the supplies they needed to start the new school year feeling confident, prepared and proud through our Start Proud!® community investment program. Associate volunteers across the country committed to a social distancing-appropriate process to assemble 18,000 brand-new backpacks with school supplies, valued collectively at over $1.5 million, and distribute them to students at more than 25 Title I schools. With continued support from Boise Paper and Domtar Paper, each backpack included one $20 Office Depot® OfficeMax® merchandise cards for families to purchase additional supplies for their student. In addition, principals at 18 of the selected Start Proud!® schools recognized one outstanding educator with Office Depot’s "All-Star Teacher" award. The deserving teacher was then surprised with new furniture, teaching supplies, technology and tech services from Office Depot, valued at over $1,500.
In 2018, Office Depot launched a new community investment initiative called #depotdifference. As our company continues to change and evolve in exciting ways, so too has the way in which we support the communities where we live and do business. #depotdifference brings an employee-centric, hands-on approach to empower us all to make a difference through robust employee volunteerism and philanthropic giving.
Recent #depotdifference Initiatives
ODP announces $1.5 million donation to Feeding America® in support of its COVID-19 Response Fund
The Office Depot family is committed to supporting students, teachers, schools, families and communities in need during this unprecedented and challenging time. In addition to providing approximately $500,000 in support grants to Title I schools and non-profit organizations, Office Depot is pleased to announce a $1.5 million donation to Feeding America® in support of its COVID-19 Response Fund to help local food banks across the country as they assist communities impacted by the pandemic.
Office Depot’s $200,000 Campaign to Help Students Slow the ‘Summer Slide’
Office Depot committed $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Club and other education related organizations throughout the country, to help provide educational programming throughout the summer 2020 to help prepare our youth for back to school and help address the “summer slide." The academic regression that typically occurs during the summer months while students are out of school is said to disproportionately affect students from low-income backgrounds, and educational disruptions this year due to COVID-19 have made this issue more critical.
The Mentorship Movement: Meet Volunteer Mentor Misty Wilson
One of the #depotdifference programs we are most proud of is our Mentorship Movement, which has empowered Office Depot associates like Misty Wilson to build rich, long-term mentoring relationships with at-risk youth. Since inception of the Movement, Misty has been matched with a mentee from our nonprofit partner Pathway To College, where together they’re working diligently on exam preparation, the college application process, and the life-balance skills needed to succeed at the next level.
Watch the video below to see how 'Slowing the Summer Slide' came to life.
A Message From Gerry
“#depotdifference brings our associates together in a special way. Whether renovating a school campus, providing backpacks full of supplies to students, or mentoring at-risk youth, we’re building a Caring Culture in our company and in our communities.”
— Gerry Smith, Chief Executive Officer, The ODP Corporation
Depot Day of Service
Depot Day of Service is our company’s flagship volunteer celebration. On a designated day each spring, nationwide, associates, family members and friends of Office Depot join in the fun of volunteering in their local large-scale community service project.
Starting in 2018, Start Proud!™ is going strong as Office Depot’s signature back-to-school philanthropic initiative. This program was created to help foster brighter beginnings for schools in low-income communities nationwide and to give students, parents and teachers the supplies they need to start the school year confident, prepared and proud. Start Proud! celebratory assemblies are held at elementary schools across the nation, and include inspiring remarks, the distribution of backpacks and supplies for students, and special recognition and gifts for educators.
Mentorship Movement is a special dimension of the #depotdifference commitment to education that offers South Florida associates the opportunity to mentor youth, helping to provide them with much needed support, guidance and inspiration. Through a strategic partnership with the United Way of Palm Beach County's Mentoring Center, Office Depot associates are matched with mentees of reputable charities, and are given the opportunity to help change the life of a local youth at-risk.
Season of Service
While #depotdifference is a year-round initiative, our associates are especially active in their communities during the holiday season, when so many are in need of extra support. To spread holiday cheer and put our passion into action, the Season of Service campaign includes heart-warming and meaningful volunteer and philanthropic projects.
School Supply Drive in Partnership with Round It Up America®
Beginning in the summer of 2020, Office Depot® OfficeMax® stores nationwide began raising funds to support local Title I schools in communities nationwide. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our customers, we’ve raised approximately $2 million to date, to help teachers and school administrators get the supplies they need to keep school going…without reaching into their own pockets.
Product Donation Partnership
Feed the Children
Office Depot is proud to partner with Feed The Children to donate our products to deserving students, teachers and schools, and qualifying non-profit organizations.
To apply to become a product donation beneficiary, pleaseclick here.
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