For children everywhere, education is the best hope for breaking free from poverty. Yet even school supplies are hard to come by for the millions of U.S. children whose families struggle just to pay rent and buy food. To help ensure these children have the tools they need to learn, World Vision provides school essentials throughout the year to students in greatest need.

“The need is huge this year,” says Reed Slattery, warehouse coordinator for World Vision’s Pacific Northwest field site. “It’s heartbreaking to see so many families that want their children to do well in school, but can’t afford the supplies. Without supplies, students whose families can’t make ends meet begin the year at a significant disadvantage.”

Across the country corporations are rolling up their sleeves and hosting SchoolTools events to provide basic school supplies to help U.S. children in poverty.  These team-building activities are helping employers to provide opportunities to give back.  The events are high-impact team experiences that give direct help and hope to children and communities in the United States. Providing children with their own school supplies builds self-esteem and also frees up family resources for other essentials such as food, medicine, and utilities.

Click to view the 2013 Charities@Work SchoolTools event in action.
Click to view the 2013 Charities@Work SchoolTools event in action.

On April 3rd, 2013 in Grand Hyatt, NY, at the annual Charities@Work summit, volunteers came together and built 400 brand-new backpacks filled with basic school supplies such as, pencils, notebooks, glue, crayons, a ruler, and more.  In a carnival like setting, on August 28th, 2013, World Vision and Global Impact hosted an event where schoolchildren received these new backpacks. The day included games, bouncy toys, face painting, photo booths and a barbeque lunch. These gifts can last a lifetime, providing children not only with basic learning tools, but also with the added confidence he or she needs to be successful in school. It also encourages the kids and their families that their community is looking out for them.

Lucas holds his new backpack as he sits with his mother, Nelly, following the New York distribution. (Photo: Sigfrido Jeff Padilla)

“This really is a blessing,” says Nelly, a mom who brought her 11-year-old son, Lucas, to the New York event at World Vision’s warehouse in the Bronx.

“This is one less thing that I have to worry about getting for him. I feel a lot better knowing that he has a good head start for this new school year. Thank you so much for your kindness. This really means a lot.”

Among a community’s most valuable assets are its children and youth. Children deserve the right to learn, and every family deserves the right to see their children achieve their fullest potential. For children growing up in poverty, education can be the key that unlocks the door to a brighter future.


Register Now! Join us this spring, April 3-4, 2014 for the Charities@Work 13th Annual Best Practices Summit on Employee Engagement in Corporate Citizenship.  The Annual Charities@Work Summit is one of the country’s leading conferences on employee engagement and corporate social responsibility.  Attendees include Fortune 500 companies across all sectors of business, each with philanthropic and employee engagement programs of varying sophistication and a desire to collaborate on best practices for practical improvements.