As children wrapped up summer and prepared for a new school year, GSF Foundation (GSFF) volunteers across the U.S. filled backpacks with essential school supplies to donate to local students in need. A total of 22 Foundation teams participated in this year's Back(pack) to School program, donating more than 10,500 backpacks to first graders in local communities where GSF associates live and work.
“It’s been wonderful to see associates get back on school campuses this year to interact with the students receiving these donations,” said Vanessa Hugon, GSF Foundation’s Program and Development Specialist. “Seeing these kids' eyes light up and the big grins on their faces makes this program such an unforgettable, feel-good experience for our volunteers.”
The KanPak Penn Yan GSFF team in New York organized the largest donation this year with over 1,200 backpacks, followed by the City of Industry, California team with 1,000 backpack donations. Setting their own record compared with past years, GSF Opelika volunteers donated over 800 backpacks to Alabama children this back-to-school season. To make a difference for students in the Southern California, the GSFF Irvine team packed and distributed 700 donations to local schools. The City of Industry and Irvine GSFF teams each hit a milestone of 8,000 backpacks donated since the program’s inception.
This year, QCD Boston and QCD Indianapolis organized their first Back(pack) to School events, as volunteers initiate their GSFF community involvement and establish new committees. Other committees participating in the 2022 Back(pack) to School program include: KanPak Arkansas City, GSF Burleson and QCD locations in Albuquerque, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fontana, Frisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Portland, San Antonio, Suffolk, and Waipahu. Additionally, GSF business partners like Craftsmen, Morning Star, and Taylor Farms have partnered with GSFF teams to support their community backpack donations this year.
The Back(pack) to School program provides children who would otherwise go without school supplies the necessary tools to start the school year ready to learn. Since the Foundation’s founding in 2002, over 156,000 backpacks have reached children in need around the U.S. and alleviated school supply expenses for their families.