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Staples Launches Charitable Foundation; Texas Rangers Shortstop Alex Rodriguez Helps to Kick-Off Foundation

Friday, August 2, 2002 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Through the Staples Foundation for Learning, we hope to provide children with the opportunity to achieve their highest potential"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc.(R), announced today the launch of its new charitable foundation, Staples Foundation for Learning(TM). Staples Foundation for Learning will provide funding to programs that support or provide job training or educational opportunities for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Staples Foundation for Learning will be issuing grants on a quarterly basis to non-profit organizations that meet specific grant criteria.

The Foundation's first grant recipient will be Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA). Staples Foundation for Learning has awarded a $500,000 grant to support B&GCA's "CAMPAIGN 3P.M.", a new advocacy effort designed to promote the importance of providing a safe, structured environment for children ages six through eighteen during non-school hours.

Helping to kick-off the launch of Staples Foundation for Learning and the partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America is Texas Rangers All-Star shortstop and Boys & Girls Club alumnus, Alex Rodriguez. Alex Rodriguez, Ron Sargent, Staples President and CEO as well as B&GCA President, Roxanne Spillett are gathering today for the Foundation's kick-off at "The Ballpark in Arlington" in Texas, where the Texas Rangers are hosting the Boston Red Sox.

Alex Rodriguez explains "When I was nine my mom had to work two full time jobs to keep our family together. The streets were there, but for my sake, so was the Boys & Girls Club-- and now I'm proud to serve as a national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America."

"Through the Staples Foundation for Learning, we hope to provide children with the opportunity to achieve their highest potential," said Ron Sargent, Foundation President, Staples, Inc. President and CEO and also a Boys & Girls Club alumnus. "We are proud to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America because it is a wonderful organization that promotes and enhances the development of young men and women by instilling a sense of competence, belonging and usefulness."

"The support provided by Staples is critical to advancing awareness of "CAMPAIGN 3P.M.," said Roxanne Spillett, President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We can only hope that the entire nation will follow suit, ensuring that every child has a safe place to go every day after school, where they can find concerned adults and hope for the future."

B&GCA's "CAMPAIGN 3P.M." urges parents and caregivers to involve children in supervised programs, and encourages corporations, foundations and individuals to support community-based organizations that provide these services every day. According to a comprehensive study conducted in 1999 by The National Center for Juvenile Justice, children are at the greatest risk of being involved in unproductive behavior between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on school days.

Additionally, Staples, Inc. will sponsor a "Supplies for School Kids" program during the back to school time to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States. Staples, Inc. is inviting customers to buy new school supplies and contribute them in donation bins located near the front of the more than 1,100 Staples stores in the U.S. All the supplies collected during the campaign will be used to support the after school programs at the local Boys & Girls Clubs.

Staples, Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has approximately 53,000 associates serving customers through more than 1,400 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at www.staples.com.

Staples Foundation for Learning, Inc. is a private foundation created to provide funding to charitable programs that support or provide job training or educational opportunities to all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. For more information about the foundation or how to apply for a grant, please visit www.staplesfoundation.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 3,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 3.3 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," Clubs provide guidance-oriented programs on a daily basis for children 6 - 18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key programs emphasize character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation. National headquarters is located in Atlanta.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Jennifer Rosenberg, 508/253-7375
or
B&GCA
Jan Still-Lindeman, 404/487-5739
or
MS&L Public Relations
Sara Gottman, 617/437-7722, x2580

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