Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Annual donation drive helps students, communities succeed

The City of Calgary and Staples Canada are once again encouraging Calgarians to help students in need start the new school year off right.

Staples for Education is an annual drive for donations to fill backpacks with school supplies for students of low-income families. Cash donations are accepted at any Staples stores in Calgary until Sept. 9. So far Staples has raised more than $60,000, meeting nearly two-thirds of its $95,000 goal.

“It’s important to building strong communities that students have every opportunity to succeed,” says Carmen Marquez, a community social worker with The City of Calgary.  “Education may be a provincial responsibility, but it’s our communities that benefit when students succeed.”

Staples has also partnered with local Boys & Girls Clubs to fill the backpacks. In mid August, club members and parents helped fill 1,600 backpacks with school supplies purchased with the funds donated to date. The Calgary Board of Education has since delivered them to schools for distribution when school starts.

“We rely on our partners to help us get the word out and the job done, but it’s really the generosity of our customers who make this program a success,” says Staples District Manager Saxon Wong. “We couldn’t help as many children as we do without it.”

Over the years more than $6.3 million has been raised across Canada through the annual drive. Staples recently commissioned a survey of Canadian teachers that found one-third of students will start school without the basic supplies, and poverty is the number reason they don’t have what they need.

To donate, please visit a local Staples store no later than Sept. 9.  To learn more about the program, please visit calgary.ca or staples.ca.

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