Office Depot Foundation Invites U.S. Middle Schools to Apply to Host Assemblies against Bullying

Office Depot Foundation Invites U.S. Middle Schools to Apply to Host Assemblies against Bullying

School Assembly Program Features Bullying Expert Brooks Gibbs and is Supported by Sales of Exclusive One Direction Collection at Office Depot

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Office Depot Foundation - the independent, nonprofit philanthropic arm of Office Depot, Inc. (NYS: ODP) , a leading global provider of school supplies and services - invites middle schools across the United States to participate in the Foundation's new "Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying!" Program.

At the core of the program are school assemblies for students as well as anti-bullying education sessions for parents, teachers and administrators conducted by nationally known speaker Brooks Gibbs. A youth crisis counselor and bullying expert, Gibbs has spoken to more than one million students about bullying in the past decade.

Middle school administrators and guidance counselors interested in applying to bring an assembly to their school through the "Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying!" Program should visit the Office Depot Foundation website at to begin the application process.

In July, Office Depot and global music phenomenon One Direction launched an exclusive, limited-edition back-to-school collection with a percentage of the products' sales being donated to the Office Depot Foundation to support anti-bullying education. The 1D + OD Together Against Bullying back-to-school campaign raised $1 million for the Office Depot Foundation's anti-bullying education component of the multi-tiered partnership. The donation was presented to the Foundation in conjunction with the U.S. premiere of the new One Direction film, This Is Us, in New York.

"We are exceptionally grateful to Office Depot and One Direction for enabling us to launch this critically important initiative," said Mary Wong, President of the Office Depot Foundation. "Brooks Gibbs already has made his first presentations for students, parents and educators in Texas and Michigan. He will be appearing in the Boston area this week and in New York and New Jersey after that. Altogether, we will make it possible for Brooks to share his message in approximately 100 cities during the new school year, and we are pleased to say that we are off to a fast start."

The "Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying!" Program aims to give students confidence, courage and strategies to reduce bullying. Gibbs' "treat everyone like friends - even your enemies" philosophy enhances One Direction's message of "Live Nice." The school assemblies will include exclusive video footage of One Direction and special materials featuring inspirational words from the band members.

For details about the application process and a link to the application site, visit

About the Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of non-profit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards. For more information, visit

About Brooks Gibbs

Brooks Gibbs is a youth crisis counselor and bullying expert. He has been called upon as advisor to several school tragedies and has served as content producer for several television projects, includingTeen Troubleon LIFETIME and Bully Diaries on Comcast On-Demand.

Gibbs is young, dynamic and hugely popular as a speaker in school districts across the nation. He consistently receives the highest speaker ratings at teacher conferences, mental health training events and student gatherings. He began writing and speaking on the subject of bullying in the aftermath of the Columbine shooting that took place in his hometown of Littleton, Colorado. In the decade since America's most notorious school tragedy, Brooks has spoken to over 1 million students, hosted national radio and television shows, been featured in publications likeThe Washington Post and The Huffington Postand has been interviewed onCBS.

About Office Depot

Office Depot provides core office supplies, the latest technology, school essentials, copy & print services, cleaning & breakroom products, and furniture to consumers, teachers and businesses of all sizes through 1,614 worldwide retail stores, global e-commerce operations, a dedicated sales force, an inside sales organization, and top-rated catalogs. The Company has annual sales of approximately $10.7 billion, employs about 38,000 associates, and serves customers in 60 countries around the world.

Office Depot's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at:

About One Direction

One Direction - Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson - were discovered by Simon Cowell on the U.K.'s "The X Factor" in 2010. The band quickly gained a following to become one of the competition's all-time most popular acts, finishing in the final three and garnering a gigantic and loyal fan base along the way. In March 2012, One Direction's debut album, "Up All Night," made U.S. history, as it was the first time a U.K. group's debut album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. The band has sold over 30 million records worldwide. In November 2012, One Direction released their sophomore album, "Take Me Home," which includes the No. 1 single, "Live While We're Young," and are currently on a sold-out world tour. One Direction's 3D motion picture film This is Us is showing in theaters nationwide and features the new hit single "Best Song Ever."

JKG Group
Leon Rubin, 561-251-8075
Office Depot
Stephanie Sampiere, 561-438-2563

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Florida


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