With most families spending almost $700 on back-to-school clothing and supplies, United Way of Central Maryland decided to help parents and children in challenged neighborhoods start the school year off with a smile.
Thanks to a generous donation of 2,000 backpacks from Under Armour and another 500 donated in supply drives held at multiple companies, volunteers filled more than 1,200 backpacks with school supplies.
A colorful back-to-school United Way shuttle bus drove through the city just before the start of the school year to pick up boxes of binders, markers, notebooks and lots more from organizations participating in the drive, including Under Armour, Miles & Stockbridge, T. Rowe Price and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
That same day, backpack stuffing and giveaway events were held at elementary schools Van Bokkelen Anne Arundel County, Harford Heights in Baltimore City, Norwood in Baltimore County, Magnolia in Harford County and Cradlerock in Howard County. An additional 1,300 backpacks were distributed to area nonprofits and other schools.
“Academic success is often predicated by the first few weeks of school. This is why we are in every county in central Maryland today, ensuring that our students are given the opportunity to get off to a strong start this school year,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland.