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.