2400+ Backpacks Custom-Designed for Homeless to Be Distributed throughout New York Area in February 2015

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Not-for-profit The CITYPAK Project distributes backpacks to homeless throughout the country, and works with local partners Don’t Walk By, Coalition for the Homeless, Covenant House, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, The Relief Bus, and others to reach New York area persons in need.

The CITYPAK Project, working together with local partners Don't Walk By Manhattan, Coalition for the Homeless, Covenant House, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, The Relief Bus, and New Life Pantry and Homeless Ministry, is distributing over 2400 custom-designed backpacks to New York area homeless in need throughout the month of February. Complete distribution details are included below.

Designed by CITYPAK’s exclusive manufacturing partners High Sierra, the custom backpacks provide a secure place for displaced citizens to hold their belongings, and feature a spacious main compartment for a large amount of items, a hide-away poncho designed to keep both the bag and its wearer dry, a ballistic nylon outer shell strong enough to combat the elements, a synch-top closure for extra waterproofing and anti-theft measures.

The CITYPAK Project was founded by Philanthropist Ron Kaplan. Launched in 2012, more than 12,500 backpacks have been distributed in over 20 cities nationwide, with additional communities being added each month. As Kaplan says, “Giving away backpacks isn’t the solution to the complex issue of homelessness facing our country, but it’s something we can do to make a small difference for people in this difficult situation.”

Today, The CITYPAK Project encourages its local distribution partners in each city to create programs that use the donated CITYPAKs as incentives for their homeless clients. The programs use a voucher system that trades program participation for a CITYPAK, thus encouraging homeless in need to more fully engage with organizations and better utilize the resources available to them.

The public can donate at http://www.citypak.org to provide a CITYPAK to a neighbor in need.

High Sierra also recently introduced PUBLICPAK—a daypack that gives back. Available to the public via http://www.highsierra.com and in select retail locations, a portion of the proceeds from PUBLICPAK help fund The CITYPAK Project.

New York Distribution Details:

CITYPAK and Don’t Walk By will distribute 250 PAKs each Saturday in February, with additional distributions on three consecutive Fridays - February 13, 20 and 27 – with Covenant House, Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen, and New Life Community Development Corp, plus distributions via The Relief Bus on the second and third Wednesdays and Saturdays in February, and throughout the month of February at feeding sites serviced by the Coalition for the Homeless.

All New York distribution details can be found HERE.

Fall 2014 CITYPAK Distributions:

United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple - Chicago, IL
Sinai Congregation - Chicago, IL
Heartland Alliance Chicago - Chicago, IL
Redemption Church & Caring Kitchen - Delray Beach, FL
Catholic Charities - Chicago, IL
Union Gospel Mission - Portland, OR
UUGP Teen Backpack Program - Grants Pass, OR
PADS of DuPage County - Wheaton, IL
New Orleans Mission - New Orleans, LA
Sojouner Truth Ministries - Williamsport, PA
Lake County PADS - North Chicago, IL
St Theresa Church - Kihei, Maui (and various locations on the island of Maui)
Seventh Day Adventists - Western Washington State (to include Tacoma and

*Additional distributions to be announced.

Connect with CITYPAK:


About The CITYPAK Project:
The CITYPAK Project is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization that works to provide custom designed backpacks to homeless persons in need. Working with exclusive manufacturing partner High Sierra, The CITYPAK Project has distributed over 12,500 PAKs to homeless throughout the United States, including Chicago, Illinois; Boulder, Colorado; Maui, Hawaii; Austin, Texas; San Jose and Venice, CA, and others.

Founded by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Ron Kaplan in 2012, The CITYPAK Project provides a safe, convenient and versatile backpack uniquely designed to meet the constantly changing needs of the homeless. Inspired by the simple desire to create something that would make life on the streets of Chicago a little easier, Kaplan shared his idea with the design team at the international adventure travel gear manufacturer High Sierra. Today, with the help of High Sierra and a growing list of corporate and individual donors and a variety of local and regional non-profit partners, The CITYPAK Project distributes CITYPAKs in growing list of cities across the U.S. The ongoing goal: to design and provide a useful, high quality backpack for the homeless.

About High Sierra:
A division of Samsonite LLC, High Sierra designs feature-rich, versatile outdoor lifestyle gear for adventurers everywhere. Since our founding in 1978, we’ve committed ourselves to creating durable, affordable product with distinctive details, delivering the freedom to go anywhere—near or far, on roads or trails, on mountain ridges or snowy slopes, no matter what form your adventure takes. In 2012, High Sierra formed a design partnership with the Chicago-based CITYPAK Project [501(c)(3)] to create purposeful, utilitarian backpacks for the homeless. High Sierra is also proud to be the Official Bags supplier to the U.S. Ski, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams. High Sierra. Adventure This Way.

About Don’t Walk By:
Don’t Walk BY (DWB) is an annual homeless outreach campaign that seeks to mobilize regular New Yorkers in a search and rescue mission to offer every homeless man and woman in Manhattan food, warm clothing, blankets, and an opportunity for an alternative to life on the streets by entering a shelter or residential program.

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Carrie Lombardi
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