Bus drivers gave away hundreds of backpacks to children at a homeless shelter near their Queens depot on Friday, union officials said.
TWU Local 100, which represents bus operators, brought a bus full of backpacks and supplies to the Flushing Family Residence in Maspeth.
About 220 children from the shelter boarded the bus, picked up a backpack with supplies, and then climbed down from the back of the bus.
Workers at the Grand Avenue bus depot and maintenance facility decided to skip a summer cookout and raise money for kids going back to school at the nearby shelter. It is near the B57 bus route, officials added.
"The looks on their faces, they were really excited to get knapsacks," said Clarence Patterson, TWU Local 100 chairman for the bus depot.
"One little girl posed with her backpack. It was priceless. Our bus line goes by there, maybe they'll see us a little different."
The backpacks contained notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, construction paper, and glue.
"I think something like this is what unions need to do, they need to reach out and help those who need a little help," said J.P. Patafio, a vice-president at TWU Local 100. "I am proud of what the Grand Avenue Depot did, and I hope we can expand it."