Actress Paige Davis has been doing greater good besides acting. The actress and television personality, who hosted Home and Family has been the spokesperson for Operation Backpack for the past ten years. A project of Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY), Operation Backpack has been providing homeless kids with a backpack each every year since its establishment in 2001.
This year the organization aims to provide 23,000 New York City children with backpacks before they start their first day at school.
As the homeless population increases, the project has been gaining attention and getting more donations for support. A small campaign when it started in 2001, it has grown into a bigger project. With the addition of Davis and the circle of donors increasing to big names like Sony, Duane Reade, HSBC, 21 century Fox and FedEx, Operation Backpack has been able to support homeless children for the past ten years.
The campaign was originally designed to support the children living in Volunteers of America-Greater New York shelters. It has since reached out to children living in various other shelters throughout New York City. According to their website, Operation Bacpack campaigns are held nationwide, including Sacramento, Indiana, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania and Colorado.
The project provides kids in each grade a backpack with different essentials required for each grade. As they write on their website,
"Every backpack given to a child through Operation Backpack is filled with supplies according to the child's grade. For example, high-schoolers get a dictionary, thesaurus and calculator along with all the other usual school supplies. The youngest children receive water colors, washable markers, tissues and all the supplies they need."
Paige Davis, who has been a spokesperson for Operation Backpack since 2005 said to her friend at sobermomwrites.com "The reason I was introduced to Volunteers of America and its program, Operation Backpack, was because my friend and neighbor is the Director of Communications for the New York chapter of VOA."
"At the time there were over 12,000 school age children living in homeless shelters in New York City alone," she added.
"I was stunned by the staggering statistic. I immediately asked how I could help. Initially it was posing for a picture to be used on posters and billboards in the ad campaign, but before long I became a hands on participant during the collection and sorting phase of the program."
Davis, who was in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast, was married to comedian Greg Benson and was credited as Mindy Paige Benson. But after their divorce in 2001, Paige took on the name Paige Davis. She then got married to her then boyfriend, Patrick Page. The duo had been dating ever since they worked together on Beauty and the Beast (musical).
Off Broadway, neither of them have appeared in movies. But Davis has some TV credit thanks to her work in Home and Family and Trading Spaces. Davis lives in Manhattan with her husband. They do not have any children together. While the duo maintain a private life (their net worth is undisclosed), Davis is quite active on her Twitter account.