I think most of us can agree that children and adolescents can only benefit from attending and participating in a well-rounded, positive educational situation. In other words, going to school! The skills and knowledge acquired, the development of social & personal interactions, and the endless opportunities presented as minds develop. Essentially, schools’ ability to manifest smarter, happier, and healthier individuals & communities cannot be understated.
There is another side of the coin of course. What happens when a student’s situation outside of school affects their overall ability to thrive? What happens when influences out of the student’s hands directly cause them to be in a more vulnerable or compromised position? What happens when parts of their opportunity to develop are taken away? This reality is, unfortunately, true; There are more than a few of these young individuals at every school, often many more than you might assume.
This is where the community steps forward and steps up for these kids. This is what Garrison’s Backpack Drive is all about! Just over a year ago, we were approached by the Youth 71Five non-profit organization based here in Medford. They came to us with a simple yet inspiring idea; a promotion in which members of the community who are purchasing furniture and mattresses can sponsor a backpack full of essential school supplies, which will then be donated to and distributed by the organization to local students in need. Truly a win-win-win! We were immediately on board as we recognized this was a valuable chance to help local kids and was going to fit right in with our other community-focused promotions & sales.
We started promoting the Backpack Drive at our stores and on social media the very next day. Within a few more days, we had radio and TV ads. Most importantly, our customers responded with overwhelming enthusiasm and were sponsoring backpacks from the very first hour we were presenting the offer. In just a few short weeks, this awesome community sponsored just under 200 backpacks for local kids in need! We felt so honored to be a part of it! The inaugural Garrison’s Backpack Drive turned out to be a great success, save for a few innocent miscommunications (people expecting backpacks delivered with their furniture lol :) ).
Fast forward to roughly a month ago, and we re-connected with Youth71Five to once again do a Backpack Drive. This time, however, we were going to have to go bigger, because that’s what you do when it comes to the community! Also, we knew what was coming this year and what to expect, so we were in a much better position to launch a marketing campaign, give ourselves more time to source the supplies and just have a bit firmer grip on the whole process. We had done this already!
And guess what? We have already exceeded last year’s total number of backpacks and we know this awesome community can get us all the way to 300! We have already started the process of preparing the backpacks and in fact, the first batch has already been donated and distributed! With most of the local district’s year starting soon, we had to be a bit more organized this time around. Complete team effort!
Giving local kids the tools to succeed at school is something that makes sense to us here at Garrison’s. Turning a compromised situation into a positive one. Manifesting a more positive school experience for the future of the valley. And who knows, maybe we’ll end up delivering them with your new sofa too ;).