For Tina Reed, store manager at Staples in Medicine Hat, the Staples School Supply Drive is an important month for the store and she and her staff are proud to be part of it.
The program, for Reed, is about ensuring all children have the same potential to succeed and giving them the proper tools to do that so they can be their best selves.
“It makes us feel really great that we are able to give back to the community by asking for those donations,” stated Reed. “We hire some high school students and hear their struggles and we know how it can be. We hear parents coming in struggling with inflation and prices going up. We make it known to our staff that we need to ask every customer that comes in, let it be known there are students out there who are struggling and can’t afford school supplies. We want to make sure they all have an even playing ground, so they all have the right tools when going back to school.”
Reed and her staff have also helped at the United Way filling backpacks on occasion when not enough volunteers were available. This year, she made a special order for backpacks from a supplier that was offering them at a great price, bringing in 600 of them specifically for the United Way. When school supplies go on sale or there is a clearance, Reed makes sure the United Way is aware so they can stock up.
The Staples School Supply drive takes place between August 7 and September 11 each year. The drive is Canada-wide, with the store partnering with United Way in Western Canada, Kiwanis in Ontario and Breakfast Club of Canada in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
This year marks the 17th time Staples has held this campaign and they have raised over $15 million dollars for students in need across communities since the inception of the program. Money collected at each store supports the local community in which they are situated.
In the story about the United Way Tools for Schools program published in the August 10th edition of the Medicine Hat News, it stated that Staples accepts donations of school supplies. This was incorrect, the store only accepts cash donations for the program.
SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News