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MLB helps kids in need with Operation Backpack

Volunteers packed 1,000 MLB backpacks for children in shelters across New York City
MLB.com @ladsonbill24

NEW YORK -- The first day of school is around the corner, and it's not surprising that Major League Baseball is helping kids in need.

MLB partnered with Operation Backpack to host packing events this month, benefiting local schoolchildren in need. The packing events took place in the Commissioner's Office as well as the office of MLB Advanced Media last week. On Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network took part.

NEW YORK -- The first day of school is around the corner, and it's not surprising that Major League Baseball is helping kids in need.

MLB partnered with Operation Backpack to host packing events this month, benefiting local schoolchildren in need. The packing events took place in the Commissioner's Office as well as the office of MLB Advanced Media last week. On Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network took part.

Volunteers from all three outlets joined together to pack 1,000 MLB backpacks with essential school supplies which will be distributed to children in shelters through Operation Backpack and also to Boys & Girls Clubs across New York City.

Each kid will receive a blue backpack with the MLB logo. Inside the backpack, they will find notebooks, pencils, pens, pencils, crayons, a five-inch safety scissor and a special note wishing the kids good luck in the school year.

In the Commissioner's Office, for example, the packing event took place from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The volunteers were done in less than an hour. It showed Tom Brasuell, MLB's vice president of community affairs, how serious the volunteers were in helping the needy.

"We have done this for a couple of years now," Brasuell said. "In New York, the backpacks are going to children who are living in shelters or with homeless families. That's a burden as it is. But for the parents, that's one less thing they have to worry about. It's really important."

As a working parent himself, Brasuell has an idea what the kids need when it's time to go to school.

"I know the stuff you have to get these days. There are pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, so much stuff that kids need to succeed in school," Brasuell said. "This is really a budgetary relief for those parents and families. When you see the kids get the stuff in their hands -- and especially now -- our backpack has the MLB logo. We are special. We know the kids are special.

"It's a great feeling to stuff the bags. It's an even greater feeling to see the kids get the bags in their hands. Also, we look in the parents' faces and they are saying, '[MLB] is really helping us out.'"

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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