Back to School Giveaways


The Queens Museum was honored to partner on a series of Back to School Giveaways organized by Together We Can Community Resource Center Inc, New York Cares, and the Office of NY State Senator Jessica Ramos. From September 9th through September 16th over 12,000 backpacks and school supplies were distributed to families in Queens with distribution sites in Corona, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, and Astoria. Students received backpacks along with notebooks, erasers, pencils, folders, glue sticks, scissors, colored markers, a pencil case, a ruler, crayons, and Queens Museum worksheet activities. 

“As our children and teachers head back to school using an unprecedented hybrid model during an unprecedented global pandemic, we especially want to ensure every child is prepared with a backpack and supplies to get the school year rolling,” said Senator Jessica Ramos. “Our community was the epicenter of the pandemic, and many of our families have faced unspeakable loss and trauma. The economic crisis is forcing many working families into precarious situations and these backpacks can help them save a little bit.”

Together We Can, a key partner on this initiative as well as the La Jornada and Together We Can Food Pantry at the Queens Museum, reflected how appreciative they are “of having the opportunity to be able to work together with Senator Jessica Ramos, New York Cares, Queens Museum, and a variety of other community-based organizations on this initiative. The community organizations and volunteers worked tirelessly to make this project possible; it was a labor of love for the children and families.”

Glenn Wolff-Eisenberg, Associate Director, Community Partner Relations and Evaluation for New York Cares added that “As New York Cares has looked to deepen our impact in neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, the team at the Queens Museum, as well as Together We Can and Senator Ramos’s Office, have become indispensable allies in mobilizing caring New Yorkers in service. We are grateful for the museum’s partnership in delivering thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies to families across central and western Queens.”

Queens Museum Community Organizer Gianina Enriquez shared a reflection eoched by all the partners, “Seeing the children’s smiles as they chose their backpacks with all the materials inside, happy and excited to start their classes soon was the most wonderful part of this initiative. Many thanks to all the organizations and volunteers that made it possible.”

Additional partners included: Elmhurst Community Partnership; Make the Road NY; New Immigrant Community Empowerment; Street Vendor Project; Woodside on the Move; NYC Census 2020; MetroPlus Health Plan; ELMCOR; Lefrak City Tenants’ Associates Inc.; Ciana; Lexington School for the Deaf; and The Tibetan Community of NY&NJ.