When is a backpack full of school supplies a big deal? When a child whose family struggles to get by receives her very own set, helping lead to success in school and the confidence that comes from fitting in.
This simple fact – and the success of the company’s volunteer effort in the United States – inspired eight Cummins’ offices in the Eastern Canada region to hold employee volunteer events to bring school supplies to students in need. Over 350 Cummins employees assembled school supply kits – each containing a note of encouragement – for children in the communities where Cummins employees live and work. Thanks to Cummins’ generosity and the diligence of its employee volunteers, more than 2,200 kids received the kits and are now more confident and better equipped to succeed in school.
The kits were distributed to elementary schools and nonprofits throughout a large area: Daybreak Parent-Child Centre in Mount Pearl; East Preston Daycare, Ward 5 Neighborhood Centre, The Take Action Society, Musquodoboit Family Resource Centre and Fairview Family Centre in Dartmouth; St. Louis and Alberton elementary schools in Montrose, PEI; 12 Ottawa Community Houses; and the Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services in Mississauga.
United Way Worldwide managed the project at the national level, with six local United Ways coordinating the events in their communities: Centraide Abitibi Témiscamingue et Nord-du-Québec; United Way Centraide Ottawa; United Way Halifax; United Way of Newfoundland & Labrador; United Way of Peel Region; and United Way of Prince Edward Island. These volunteer events built on the success of a longstanding relationship between United Way and Cummins in the U.S., Canada, Ghana and around the world.
A backpack filled with pencils, notebooks, and erasers, may be no big deal to some students. But to others, those items could mean the difference between fitting in or feeling left out and between succeeding or struggling in school.