Friday, March 7, 2014

Purchasing group donates 450 backpacks and supplies

In support of the ongoing efforts to offer Quality Neighborhood Schools across San Diego Unified, U.S. Communities, a nationwide government and education purchasing cooperative is donating 450 backpacks filled with items ranging from pocket folders, rulers and calculators to pencils and water bottles.

Hanby with bags Support was so strong for the U.S. Communities Backpack Initiative that the original goal of collecting school supplies to fill 200 backpacks was exceeded by more than double. The additional backpacks were made possible from the overwhelming response from our supplier partners: Applied Industrial Technologies, CARQUEST, Cintas, Fisher Science Education, GameTime, Garland, Graybar, Haworth, Independent Stationers, Insight Public Sector, KONE, ServiceWear, The Home Depot, UNICOM Government and Virco.

Arthur S. Hanby, Jr., San Diego Unified's strategic sourcing and contracts officer, helped arrange the donation. The backpacks have been distributed to students through the Office of Children and Youth in Transition and several schools, including Carson, Fay, Kimbrough, Rodriguez and Rosa Parks elementary schools.

“Our district serves an estimated 5,000 children and youths-in-transition experiencing homelessness each year,” said Hanby. “These include children and teenagers whose families have lost adequate housing, or are living in emergency, transitional or domestic violence shelters. Other have been forced out of their homes, have left voluntarily to escape violence or drug and alcohol abuse, or are refugees from war-torn countries around the world. What they need is a chance—a chance to succeed and a chance to hope. These backpacks help give them this chance.”

Following dinner on the first day of the meeting, attendees formed “assembly” lines to fill each backpack with everything from pencils and water bottles to pocket folders, rulers and calculators.

“Traditionally at our Annual Meeting, we are focused on the meeting content and the opportunity to network” says Kevin Juhring, General Manager of U.S. Communities. “Recognizing an immediate need among San Diego school children, our program participants, suppliers, Advisory Board Members and board members enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to give back this year. Their generosity showed a lot of heart, and we are proud to count them as part of the U.S. Communities family.”