Update: Backpacks of Hope

Written by: Patrick Keiser, Corporate Trainer & Recruiter 

An organization’s core values can sometimes be seen as nice words, but unreflective of the company itself. However, when OneCoast speaks into a desire to make a difference in the community, this is truly embodied by the company and its employees.  This summer’s Backpacks of Hope initiative was a perfect example of how an organization working together can make a tremendous difference in a community.

Through the Backpacks of Hope initiative, OneCoast worked with Ethel Kight Elementary school in LaGrange, GA, Nathan Adams Elementary in Dallas, TX and Wendell P. Williams Elementary in Las Vegas, NV to provide backpacks and school supplies for the schools and students.  While backpacks, pencils, markers and glue can seem like basic necessities within a classroom, they are often not provided by the school, and are the burden is left on the teacher or student to provide.  In many areas, this means the classroom goes with basic school supplies.

The response to this year’s initiative was absolutely incredible.  In addition to receiving extraordinarily generous donations from our vendor partners DEMDACO and C.R. Gibson, OneCoast employees donated thousands of dollars of supplies at each show. This year, we also set up an online Wishlist which people could purchase from and send items to our showrooms. In creating this, we figured this would allow people to participate without worrying about filing up their luggage when they traveled to the show.

What we didn’t account for, and were blown away by, was the number of people who typically don’t attend one of the shows, but still wanted to participate. This gave them an avenue to do just that.  Prior to the beginning of each show this summer, we received notifications that the donation bins within the OneCoast and DEMDACO showrooms were already full, and the showroom managers were having to store the extra supplies elsewhere. Not a bad problem to have.

With school starting back up over the next several weeks, these schools are just beginning to see the impact of our donations. When our supplies were dropped off, many hugs were given and tears were shed demonstrating the power of the donations on these schools.  Ethel Kight Elementary has since used our donations for their annual Back to School Bash to provide supplies to students. Wendell P Williams Elementary was also able to provide brand new supplies to all of their new teachers’ classrooms.  By alleviating the burden put on educators to provide supplies for their classroom, we can allow them to focus their energies on providing exciting educational opportunities for their students.  In this way, OneCoast is making an enormous difference in these communities.

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