The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless handing out school supplies and backpacks to students at the annual Backpack Pirates Summer Festival. (Photo: Long Island Coalition for the Homeless /
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IKEA Long Island donates 500 backpacks for homeless children

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is teaming up with IKEA Long Island to help homeless children start the school year off right with the nonprofit’s annual Backpack Pirates event.

Backpack Pirates is an annual event where over 425 homeless and at-risk children are invited to spend a day participating in fun games and activities at a pirate-themed summer camp. In addition, children get brand new backpacks filled with school supplies.

IKEA Long Island has donated 500 backpacks to be given to children at the event on Tuesday, August 28, as well as to children in homeless shelters throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties.

“We are so grateful for this new partnership with IKEA,” said Greta Guarton, Executive Director of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. “Thanks to their generosity, more than 500 Long Island children in need will have beautiful, new backpacks and school supplies to start their school year on the right foot. Performance in school is affected by self-esteem and motivation. Having the right tools, of which these kids can be proud, will positively impact their ability to thrive in school.”

IKEA Long Island is also accepting donations of school supplies to fill the backpacks until July 31st. The donation bin will be located in the store’s cash lane area.

“We are honored to work with Long Island Coalition for the Homeless in bettering the lives of the children that need it most,” said Mike Baker, Store Manager of IKEA Long Island. “We hope that, with this donation, we can support these children in their path to a successful school year.”

Since its inception in 1985, the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless has expanded to include the coordination of homeless services from over 125 agencies in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. To learn more, please visit

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