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United Way Blog

Fulfilling the Promise of the Back-to-School Season

For many students, September has brought both a familiar feel and the excitement of the new: a new academic year, new teachers, new friends and new school supplies. But many families who struggle with basic needs find that and back-to-school shopping is stressful. Too often, it forces choices between bills and groceries.

New school supplies can give students confidence and motivate them to do well in school. That’s why and Cummins and United Way  partner across the U.S. and Canada to engage employee volunteers in simple, fun projects to help students succeed in school.

For the last few months, 13 Cummins sites in Canada worked with their local United Ways to assemble back-to-school kits, filling nearly 500 backpacks of school supplies.

Just over the border, United Way Worldwide and United Way of Dane County are leading Cummins employees in Mineral Point, Wisconsin in four projects to benefit SWCAP, a social services agency. Volunteers are assembling hundreds of snack pack kits filled with healthy snacks for children living in low-income areas; back-to-school kits; health and hygiene kits with necessities such as shampoo, soap, a washcloth and toothbrush; and winter care kits with gloves, hats, hand warmers, a blanket, first aid kit and more.

And, because bicycles teach self-sufficiency, offer good exercise and are just plain fun, employees at 35 locations in the Cummins’ U.S. Eastern and Pacific regions are building more than 600 bikes for youth in struggling communities.

These events have a lot of moving parts, but it’s what we do here at United Way Worldwide. Our team leads large-scale, multi-state and country employee volunteer engagement activities by tapping the expertise of local United Ways, who understand local needs and lead efforts to meet them.

Employee volunteer programs are a smart investment. Let us know how United Way can help translate your colleagues’ desire to do good into meaningful action in your community, any time of year.

Inspired by what you read? Change starts with you. Take action today to make a difference in your community.