(HONOLULU, Hawai‘i) – Hawai‘i State Senator Donna Mercado Kim and the Office Depot Foundation are pleased to announce that three Kalihi schools have been chosen to receive colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies as part of the 2017 National Backpack Program, in partnership with the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) and the Office Depot Foundation (ODF).

Today’s visit to Linapuni Elementary School is the first of the sackpack school visits. The 45 first graders at Linapuni Elementary received a lesson in civics answering questions about state facts and local government. They were all smiles when they gave the correct answer and received their sackpacks.

“Going back to school should be an exciting time for children who head back to class with all

the tools they need to learn. But for families where money is tight, this isn’t always the case,” said Sen. Kim. “Having the opportunity to give these kids a small dose of this excitement and giving them the confidence they need to succeed this school year through this program warms my heart.”

Sen. Kim will be visiting students at Kaewai Elementary School and Kalihi Waena Elementary later this month.

As of the end of last year, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have helped more than 4 million children since the National Backpack Program began in 2001. This is the 12th year of the partnership with NFWL and the 17th year of the National Backpack Program. Hawai‘i was very lucky to once again be chosen to participate in this national program. Only 50 elected women from across the nation were chosen and provided with the sackpacks to share with the children in their community. In 2016, the Office Depot Foundation provided the National Foundation for Women Legislators with sackpacks for distribution by elected women officials in approximately 15 states.

“Our goal in providing this program to our elected women is to equip them to further serve every member of the community they represent,” said NFWL Executive Director Jody Thomas. “These children are the future of our country and not only are we able to set them up to succeed in school and compete in an ever-competitive job market once they grow older, they’re given a sense of hope and a peace of mind.”

The new 2017 drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven different kid-friendly designs. Each colorful sackpack includes a zippered pouch containing essential back-to-school items - a ruler, four crayons, a pen, a pencil, a pencil sharpener and an eraser. The sackpacks do not have any Office Depot or Office Depot Foundation logos or markings.

Photos courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications


About the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Inc. (NFWL)

Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports elected women from all levels of governance. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience. For more information, visit

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