For 2,250 kids in the Indianapolis area who love NASCAR, July 24 is likely not to be a day they will forget any time soon. They will store it in their memory banks as the day Carl Edwards gave them a free Office Depot backpack.
As part of the office supply giant’s “2008 National Backpack Program,” the driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series traveled to various cities to hand out free backpacks. Inside the logoed school bag, students received a pencil pouch containing a ruler, four crayons, glue stick, pencil sharpener and eraser. Students were able to choose from five colors including pink.
“By placing backpacks containing essential school supplies into the hands of children, we are giving them important tools they need to start school with confidence and to succeed throughout the year,” says Mindy Kramer, director of public relations at Office Depot.
The Office Depot Foundation is donating 300,000 backpacks this year to an array of non-profit organizations and schools. The chain kicked off the program in 2001. Since its inception, it has given out 1.8 million free backpacks.
In Indianapolis, kids from the Urban League, Educational Choice Charitable Trust, The United Way, Drug Free Marion County and a number of other organizations were treated to a bag and a lifelong memory of who gave it to them.
Edwards is an old hat at handing out school supplies, as the NASCAR star was formerly a substitute schoolteacher in his hometown of Columbia, MO.