With August under way, many are beginning to shift from summer into school mode. Things like backpacks, lunch boxes, pencils and notebooks are being added to errand lists as families prepare for the coming schoolyear.

backpacks donated by GarrettCom employees

In Fremont, California, GarrettCom employees are also gathering these supplies in preparation for their annual Back-to-School Drive. The Belden brand has partnered with the Family Giving Tree since 2011 to provide school essentials to children in grades K-12. This charitable organization is committed to serving children and individuals with the most need in the Bay Area.

“The Family Giving Tree provides a way to give back to the Bay Area community,” said HR Specialist Jenny Doan. “The backpack drive helps guarantee that underprivileged children have the tools to perform better in school.”

backpack drive registration booth

GarrettCom employees contribute to the drive in a variety of ways. They can choose a backpack tag and shop for the backpack and requested school supplies, sponsor a backpack online or make a monetary donation. Usually, the collected items are dropped off at a designated warehouse – but this year, GarrettCom wanted to do something a little more hands-on.

“This is the first year that we will be having some of our staff members go to the warehouse and help with the sorting,” Jenny said.

Employees now have the option to work together and assemble backpacks for the children themselves. Jenny said they had a great outcome of employees that stepped in and wanted to join in on the experience. About 23 employees - almost half - of the office donated.

boxes filled with donated backpacks

This enthusiasm for the drive reflects on GarrettCom’s long-held relationship with the organization. Scott Davis, plant manager in Fremont, worked with the Family Giving Tree before he began his employment with GarrettCom and thought it would be a great opportunity for the two to unite.

According the Jenny, their office turnout has been phenomenal every year.
“In today’s work place you need the right tools. That starts with a solid beginning to build from. The Back Pack Drive makes sure the kids in the area get the proper tools to shape their future.” 

storage bins filled with school supplies

Garrettcomm employees showcasing some of the donated backpacks