OneCoast Makes a Difference with Backpacks of Hope Initiative

OneCoast, a nationwide sales and marketing services company, collected hundreds of school supplies for their annual Backpacks of Hope initiative during the Summer 2019 markets in Dallas, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. This initiative is an opportunity to give back to local communities by collecting school supplies for elementary school children who live in low-income households. And with the tremendous support from their employees, vendor partners, and retailers as well as the International Market Centers and Dallas Market Center, OneCoast made a difference in the lives of so many deserving children through their donations that helped them start their school year off in a positive way.

OneCoast partnered with the following Dallas, Atlanta, and Las Vegas elementary schools where the need is extensive and whereas some educators have to dip into their own pockets each year to help supplement in their classrooms:

  • Dallas – Nathan Adams Elementary School
  • Atlanta – Ethel W. Kight Elementary School (LaGrange)
  • Las Vegas – Wendell P. Williams Elementary School

Candace McGhee, Principal of Ethel W. Kight Elementary School of LaGrange, Atlanta, writes “Ethel W. Kight students who attended the Annual Back to School Bash can stand taller because of the generous donation of book bags and supplies from the employees of OneCoast.  We had an estimated turnout of over 200 people for the event held on July 30 and were able to distribute over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to students from PreK – 5th Grade.  On behalf of EKES staff and the families we serve, we are extremely grateful for the partnership of OneCoast. Thanks for being a major supporter of this annual event!”

Cynthia Ireland, Principal at Wendell P Williams Elementary in Las Vegas writes “The supplies that you (OneCoast) donated for our staff and students truly touched their hearts! How sweet of you to think about Wendell P. Williams ES. Your loving kindness will always be appreciated and never, ever forgotten! We are eternally grateful!”

Back in May 2016, the Backpacks of Hope program was one of the first company-wide community service initiatives rolled out that year by the OneCoast Cares Team in conjunction with their “Make A Difference” company core value. Led by Melanie Yates, Gift Division Territory Manager, this program was kicked off at the Summer 2016 markets by stationing collection bins at the entrances of each showroom where school supply could be dropped off. With the overwhelming support from that initial launch, the OneCoast Cares Team quickly realized the importance of this program and it became their annual Summer initiative.

“We often say at OneCoast that we want to ‘Do good business and do good things’” Says John Keiser, CEO of OneCoast. “I am very proud that the employees of OneCoast have supported the Backpacks of Hope efforts over the last three years. To think that we can make the educational experience better for so many children is extremely gratifying. And it is definitely an initiative we will continue to do in the years to come.”

Under the leadership of John Keiser, the OneCoast Cares Team was born in early 2016. The purpose of the team is to encourage their employees to give back through simple acts of kindness every day.  Today, they believe in inspiring others to take action in their local communities and also coming together as a team to do community service work without expecting anything in return.  Their overall goal is to help their employees see that even the smallest participation can make a difference not only in the lives of those they are helping, but also in their own life as well.  To encourage this, all OneCoast employees are given two days of Community Service time each year to work with a community service organization of their choice.

Written by Catherine LeBlanc