Fall is right around the corner and with it the familiar refrain “back to school!” But for more than 388,000 children in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Meal Program in the Bay Area, back to school can be a stressful time when they do not have the school supplies necessary for academic success. These underserved children already face many challenges in the classroom. Starting the school year with a new backpack filled with school supplies can boost their self-esteem and help them put their best foot forward.
The Family Giving Tree donates supply-filled backpacks to many of these underserved Bay Area children. Family Giving Tree is a nonprofit organization that partners with Silicon Valley companies and social service agencies serving children. In 2012, the Family Giving Tree distributed more than 21,000 backpacks to children in need, far exceeding its goal of 15,000 backpacks.
As in years past, Synopsys adopted three elementary schools in the Mt. View Whisman School District, which together requested 700 backpacks for students in need. Between direct donations and Synopsys matching gift funds, nearly $12,000 was raised for this year’s backpack drive. Using the money raised, Family Giving Tree purchased more than 650 backpacks and school supplies. On August 14, 53 excited Synopsys employees (Synopsoids) and family members gathered to help “Stuff the Bus”. Participants filled backpacks with supplies and loaded them on the bus, along with nearly 50 additional employee-donated backpacks. A bus driver from the school district picked up the bus full of backpacks and delivered them to the adopted schools for distribution to the eager children.
To raise additional funds for the drive, Synopsys also hosted an employee baking competition. Employees entered their favorite desserts, submitting treats such as pecan candy, pumpkin bread (the winning entry!) and other delicacies. More than 50 employees bought tickets to sample the desserts and vote for their favorite, raising $300 for Family Giving Tree.
Back to School Drives at Other Synopsys Offices
Headquarters is not the only office that organizes a Back to School Drive. Synopsys offices in Hillsboro, Oregon, Durham, North Carolina and Austin, Texas also participate in Back to School Drives benefitting local underserved students. The Hillsboro office collected nearly 1,600 school supplies for pre-school students and homeless high school students. The Durham office collected 30 backpacks filled with supplies along with nearly $1,000 in donations for the Durham Teacher Warehouse Corporation. The Austin office raised more than $3,000, and 29 employees volunteered for several hours in the Manos de Cristo warehouse sorting donated school supplies, backpacks and clothing that will go to help more than 2,000 children living in poverty.
Synopsys and the Synopsys Outreach Foundation are dedicated to furthering the education of young people and support education through community involvement programs such as the Back to School Drive and sponsorship of numerous science fairs that promote academic success.
How You Can Help Students in Need
While the backpacks for this year have been delivered, you can help Synopsys and Family Giving Tree provide students in need with supplies for the next school year by making a donation online. For more information, click on the “Donate to Back to School Drive” link below.