FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--During the fifth annual Cradles to Crayons Backpack-A-Thon event held yesterday at Staples corporate headquarters, employees stuffed 20,000 backpacks with 460,000 new school supplies. The more than 1,000 Staples employee volunteers loaded the backpacks onto trucks for distribution to children in Lynn, Springfield, Worcester.
In partnership with school districts, Cradles to Crayons ensures these no-cost resources are delivered to some of the communities with the greatest need in Massachusetts, providing local children with the necessary school supplies to help them succeed.
“Working with Cradles to Crayons for the past five years, Staples has stuffed more than 100,000 backpacks, helping local students prepare for school by providing the tools they need to learn,” said Peter Scala, Staples Chief Merchandising Officer. “Every year our Staples associates look forward to stuffing thousands of backpacks for low-income children as a way of showing our commitment to making a difference in the communities where our customers and associates live and work.”
Staples is the only corporate partner to date to work with Cradles to Crayons to replicate the nonprofit’s signature assembly line packing event—now in its 12th year—held annually in Boston. Staples’ support allows Cradles to Crayons to expand their reach to serve more children in Central and Western Massachusetts. 4,000 backpacks and supplies will also be delivered to Cradles to Crayons in Chicago to serve local Chicagoland children in need. Collectively all places will produce a total of 24,000 backpacks this year.
"Staples’ Backpack-A-Thon is a wonderful example of the impact corporations and non-profits can have when they come together in support of their communities. We cannot thank Staples enough for their generous support; this event provides thousands of children with the supplies they need to succeed in school,” said Lynn Margherio, Cradles to Crayons’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Also attending the event were Dr. Maureen Binienda, Superintendent, Worcester Public Schools, Kimberlee Powers, Deputy Superintendent Lynn Public Schools, Tina Hoofnatgle, Program Specialist for Parent & Family Engagement, Lynn Public School and Azell Cavaan, Chief of Communications, Springfield Public Schools.
School supplies from backpacks to pencils and glue sticks to notebooks were donated by more than 20 participating Staples vendors, including: 3M, Acco, Acme, Avery, Bic, Crayola, Dixon, Domtar, Georgia-Pacific, Gojo, Heritage, Kimberly Clark, Newell, Samsonite, Staples Brand Group, Schoolkidz, Staedler, Swiss Gear and Targus. Additionally, transportation of the supplies was donated by Staples partner, M & M Transport. Some of the vendors also volunteered alongside Staples associates during the event.
Staples’ support of Cradles to Crayons extends beyond the Backpack-A-Thon to funding a philanthropic initiative to help them reach more students in need through their Ready for School program. The program, serving 70,000 children between June 1 through September 30 – promotes the importance of preparing children for school from head to toe and generates thousands of backpacks through Backpack-A-Thon events.
About Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons is a national nonprofit organization with locations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago that provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. Cradles to Crayons supplies these items free of charge by collecting new and like-new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donated items are processed and packaged by volunteers at warehouses called “Giving Factories” and are distributed to children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. For more information, visit www.cradlestocrayons.org.
About Staples Community and Giving
Staples contributes to educational and job-related community efforts with a primary focus on disadvantaged youth, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations. Through its community and giving efforts, Staples has helped thousands of organizations across the world. For more information, visit www.staples.com/community.