On August 18th, CVI employees joined forces to help the United Way of Bucks County with their Stuff the Bus campaign to provide backpacks and school supplies to children in need throughout Bucks County.
The effort started six weeks ago when CVI employees started collecting school supplies at the Doylestown office. An online registry was created to help make purchasing easy and items were shipped directly to the office. This ensured a variety of supplies was collected, including folders, notebooks, binders, crayons, highlighters, glue sticks, index cards, and over 900 pencils.
On the big day, everyone organized and separated the supplies into boxes. We counted each item, then created a list of how many of each item would go in all the backpacks, which were divided into two groups: smaller backpacks for elementary students and larger ones for middle- and high school students.
The team worked together to ensure each age group got appropriate supplies. After that, we stuffed the bags. Everyone worked together efficiently and swiftly while listening to 80s and 90s tunes and reminiscing about their own days at school. Sabina Frison took on the task to count out all the pencils for each bag to help make packing go smoothly. Eric Nitschke disassembled unused binders from an old client project for a surprise addition to the teen backpacks. All 77 backpacks were stuffed in 2 hours!
This entire project was a large group effort across CVI with Cassie Galster who did staged and coordinated the entire process. In addition to the team from Doylestown, Lisa Slen, Diane Frate and Sabina Frision joined us from Darien CT, along with Charlotte Kobayashi from Larkspur, CA. CVI Power Foundation purchased 60 backpacks to give us a jump start on the collection drive. The 17 additional backpacks and all supplies were purchased by CVI employees, including Brent Alwood, Evan O’Donnell, Patti Fiore, Jim Jordan, Sean Leahy, Paul Lowe, and Mary Pacell.
The United Way works with all 13 school districts in the county. “16% of kids struggle to have their basic needs met,” says Jamie Haddon, CEO of United Way of Bucks County. “For these kids, things we may consider ‘basics’ like school supplies, can be hard to come by.” Jamie came to pick up the bags in person and was truly in awe of the group’s accomplishment. CVI looks forward to helping United Way again next year.
[By Cassie Galster]