WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Girl Scout Amanda Grant's idea to collect school supplies to help those less fortunate has turned into a countywide initiative called "Operation Backpack," which she helped launch Tuesday in White Plains.
It started with a letter she wrote to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Grant, of White Plains, is working toward her Silver Award as a member of Greenburgh Troop 1936. In the letter, she asked Astorino if there was something she could do to collect school supplies.
"Amanda's idea was a great one," Astorino said. "She saw a need and came up with a project to meet it. She is living up to the highest principle of what Girl Scouting is about."
The county's Department of Social Services will coordinate the project, and school supplies collected will go to families that receive services from it.
"I believe education is our future, and achieving this begins with having basic tools such as school supplies," Grant said Tuesday at Pass It On Kid's Kloset, one of several partners in Operation Backpack. "As a Girl Scout, I feel it is my responsibility to help those in need, and that is why I choose to participate in a school supply drive.”
All involved will have specific roles. Grant will seek donations from the community and ensure that all donated backpacks are sufficient, while Noel D'Allacco, founder of Operation Prom, will collect donations using her contacts in the fashion and business worlds. Pass It On Kid's Kloset, which regularly collects new and gently used children's clothes for those in need, will reach out to its regular donors for school supplies.
“When government teams up with not-for-profits here in Westchester, great programs are created that help our communities at no cost to the taxpayer,” Astorino said.
Collection bins will be in the following locations:
- County Office Building, 148 Martine Ave., 1st floor
- 112 East Post Road, White Plains, 5th Floor
- Kids Kloset, 170 East Post Road, White Plains (914)-831-7616
- Life Cleaners, 300 Nepperhan Ave., Yonkers (914) 968-1525
- Nicholas Day Spa & Salon, 203 Wolfs Lane, Pelham (914) 738-3838
- Lisa Vitiello's State Farm Agency, 282 White Plains Road, Eastchester (914) 337-4810
Anyone wanting to make a cash or bulk donation should call or email Matthew McCarrick, public administration intern with the Department of Social Services, at (914) 995-4979 or email@example.com.