The NYPD are sending children back to school with new backpacks and supplies.
With New York City public schools set to welcome students back to class next week following the summer break, the NYPD wanted to ensure that families facing financial hardships are able to start the school year with the same provisions as their peers.
The backpack giveaway was held outside police headquarters in Lower Manhattan and was attended by top cop Keechant Sewell who personally helped youngsters gear up for classes. Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey was also in attendance as he waved to visitors while he worked the DJ booth.
The event included video games and other activities, but more importantly the transportation bureau also looked to remind families of safety tips when traveling to and from school.
Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs Mark Stewart told amNewYork Metro that the event is all about giving back to his fellow New Yorkers.
“It was about giving back to the community and having an interaction with those who’ve been through hard times, with COVID families might have a little struggle, so we try to help out. Backpacks school supplies were the main focus to get the community that really needs our help,” Stewart said.
The backpack giveaway has been a much-adored tradition of the NYPD Community Affairs office, which they hope to continue and make even bigger.
“People lost their jobs; we know money is tight for a lot of families. So, we try to help out as much as we can and we try to get school supplies and bags that are donated to give them. It’s important to let the community know we will be there for them,” Stewart added.
The NYPD collected 1,000 backpacks and distributed close to 500 to families on Wednesday. Stewart says the remaining backpacks and school supplies will either be donated to shelters or various other places around New York City.
“Feedback has been amazing, and just to see the smile on each kid’s face as they get a new book bag and new school supplies, that makes the whole day. I wish we could do this every day, just to see the kid’s faces. We are going to keep this tradition going,” Stewart said.