Office Depot & NAAR Promote Autism Awareness

In-Store Awareness Campaign Takes Place in April and Supports Research

Office Depot Extends In-Store Awareness Campaign in Support of National Autism Awareness Month

Company Donates Additional $25,000 to the National Alliance for Autism Research

Office Depot to Host 2003 Palm Beach-Broward Walk F.A.R. for NAAR at corporate headquarters in Delray Beach, Fl.

Office Depot, Inc., (NYSE:ODP) is teaming up with the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) to extend an in-store awareness campaign in Office Depot's more than 860 retail stores across North America. The promotion is being extended for two weeks in May.

NAAR asks all of its supporters to please continue to visit Office Depot stores in your neighborhood, and thanks all who supported this program. Please continue to let us know how this promotion is going in your neighborhood.

Office Depot has done a great job with this campaign and recently reported that the initiative has received participation from all across North America, raising an estimated $7,000 for autism research so far.

In addition, NAAR is honored that Office Depot has agreed to host our Palm Beach-Broward Walk F.A.R. for NAAR event at the company's corporate headquarters, located in Delray Beach, Fl., on Sunday, October 12, 2003.

Office Depot's point-of-purchase program provides customers throughout North America with the opportunity to support biomedical research focusing on autism spectrum disorders. These disorders affect people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and occur in an estimated one in every 250 births each year.

The educational campaign encourages customers to donate $1, $5 or $10 to NAAR at check out. All proceeds will go to NAAR to benefit autism research. The program also includes an awareness component, with each store featuring informational brochures, posters and video presentations that inform customers and employees about autism and about NAAR.

"We are excited to be partnering with Office Depot in this important initiative that will both educate the general public about autism spectrum disorders and accelerate the pace of research," said Prisca Chen Marvin, Esq., president of NAAR. "We are also grateful for the outstanding support Office Depot has given to NAAR as we continue to search for answers to this devastating disorder."

In addition to the point-of-purchase program in April, Office Depot will provide NAAR with a $25,000 donation to further the advancement of autism research projects.

"Despite the strikingly high prevalence and significant national interest in autism, research remains considerably under funded," said Bruce Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot. "We are pleased to lend our support to NAAR as they seek to find a cure for autism and improve the quality of life for those struggling with it."

Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person's ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, or form relationships with others. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual.

Recent prevalence studies suggest that more than 1 million Americans are living with an autism spectrum disorder, such as Asperger Syndrome, Autistic Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) or Rett Syndrome.

Few disorders are as devastating to a child and his or her family. While some people with autism are mildly affected, most people with the condition will require lifelong supervision and care and have severe language impairments. Many children with autism will never be able to tell their parents they love them.

About NAAR

Established in 1994, the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) is the first national non-governmental organization in the country dedicated to funding and accelerating biomedical research for autism spectrum disorders. NAAR was established by parents of children with autism concerned about the limited amount of funding for autism research. To date, NAAR has committed more than $10 million in grants for biomedical research projects worldwide that seek to find the causes, prevention, effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for autism spectrum disorders. Walk F.A.R. for NAAR is the organization's signature fundraising and autism awareness event, which is held annually in numerous communities across the United States. Additionally, NAAR was instrumental in establishing the Autism Tissue Program, a parent-led brain tissue donation program for autism research.

About Office Depot

No one sells more office products to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. The Company operates under the Office Depotâ, Viking Office Productsâ, Viking Directâ and 4Sure.comâ brand names. As of December 28, 2002, Office Depot operated 867 office supply superstores in the United States and Canada, in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 24 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers. Furthermore, the Company sells products and services in 20 countries outside of the United States and Canada, including 37 office supply stores in France and 13 in Japan that are owned and operated by the Company; and 121 additional office supply stores under joint venture and licensing agreements operating under the Office Depotâ name in seven foreign countries.

The Company also operates an award-winning U.S. Office Depot brand Web site at www.officedepot.com where customers can access Office Depot's low competitive prices seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, as well as a new Spanish language Web site at http://espanol.officedepot.com. The Company also operates 31 other Web sites in the U.S. and 14 international countries including: Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Office Depot's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index.


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