OfficeMax Grand & Toy partners with Start2Finish in annual Backpack Packing Day
TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Start2Finish, in partnership with Canadian office solutions provider OfficeMax Grand & Toy, today kicked off the Toronto portion of its annual Backpack Program packing events. The program equips students in low-income communities across the nation with a backpack full of school supplies.
"By ensuring students with the greatest need are fully prepared for a new school year, this Backpack Program helps even the playing field and set them up for successful learning," said Marla Allan, Vice President of Human Resources, OfficeMax Grand & Toy. "Giving back to the communities in which we serve is a key pillar of our social responsibility mandate."
This year's Backpack Packing Days are being held in Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax and Calgary, where hundreds of corporate volunteers and community groups will pack 9,000 backpacks with school essentials.
OfficeMax Grand & Toy has partnered for seven years to support Start2Finish's mission of breaking the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada's at risk children from Grade 1 through to their graduation from high school.
Past Start2Finish scholarship recipients also join the Backpack Program packing events to give back to the various programs that have had such positive impact on their lives.
At the young age of seven, Shazmeera Qadri lost her father due to a stroke. His passing happened exactly one month prior to her family's scheduled arrival in Canada from Pakistan. Her mother and two younger sisters were in shock, but Shazmeera knew that her father gave up his treatment money for their passports so they could have a better life abroad. She is convinced that his spirit was with her when she received the tremendous gratification of being a Start2Finish scholarship recipient.
"I came from a very rough background and, although I have always seen hardships, I have managed to battle them and rise to the top. I feel blessed and ecstatic to know that I have found a great partner in Start2Finish who will support me and help me in achieving my dreams," says Ms. Qadri.
Since 2000, Start2Finish has provided almost 60,000 students with backpacks, valued at more than $7 million. The demand for backpacks continues to rise as poverty remains an ongoing challenge faced by many students. This year, Start2Finish will donate 3,100 backpacks to 60 high needs schools in Toronto and another 5,900 across Canada.
"Office Max Grand & Toy has been a valuable partner in advancing Start2Finish's Fitness Literacy Model in Toronto and across Canada over the past seven years. We are confident that together we are making a valuable contribution to Canada's one million children who live in poverty," said Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder of Start2Finish, and two-time Grey Cup champion.
The various Start2Finish programs have positively impacted over 70,000 children across Canada. In partnership with OfficeMax Grand & Toy, the Backpack Program continues to help thousands of children annually.
About OfficeMax Grand & Toy
OfficeMax Grand & Toy is a leading provider of workplace products and solutions serving business to business and retail customers in Canada for over 130 years. From the latest technology, interiors and furniture, everyday office supplies and facility resources to a wide range of print and document services, we provide workplace innovation that enables our customers to work better.
A part of OfficeMax family since 1996, the company has the expertise and consolidated product and supply chain leadership to provide customers big and small with a range of superior products and services across North America. OfficeMax customers are served by approximately 29,000 associates and more than 900 retail stores globally. OfficeMax has been named one of the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies, and is the only company in the office supply industry to receive Ethics Inside® Certification by the Ethisphere Institute.
Start2Finish is a national nonprofit organization that works to empower children of low-income families through an innovative Fitness Literacy Model. Established in 2000 as KidsFest and rebranded to Start2Finish in 2011, it is supported by donors and volunteers, and sponsored by Wonder+, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Scotiabank, George Weston Limited and TD Canada Trust. For more information on Start2Finish programs or volunteering please visit: www.start2finishonline.org.
SOURCE OfficeMax GrandFor further information:
For more information, contact:
Director of Volunteer and Community Relations, Start2Finish
1-888-320-8844 ext. 206
Environics Communications, Inc. (for OfficeMax Grand & Toy)