Bell Aliant delivers more than 12,000 backpacks to kids in need - a 20% increase over last year

Video: Bell Aliant reminds people that it takes a whole community to help some kids have what they need to start right and finish strong.

Boys and Girls Club, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Chatham-Kent Women's Centre, Chatham, Ontario. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Community Food Basket, Saint John, New Brunswick. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Boys and Girls Club, Saint John, New Brunswick. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Feed Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Lac-Abitibi School Board, La Sarre, Quebec. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Bell Aliant employees and friends, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Bell Aliant volunteers deliver backpacks to Ward5 Community Centre, Halifax, NS. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)

Backpacks now on their way to more than 400 community groups and schools across Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec

HALIFAX, August 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant is helping kids get back to school with the supplies they need, delivering a record more than 12,000 backpacks destined for elementary school students across Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec.

 "I am pleased to announce we are helping 20 per cent more kids this year and that more than 12,000 children in our communities will start the school year with essential school supplies through our Backpacks for Kids program," said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO, Bell Aliant. "A big thank you to our employees, our Bell Aliant Pioneers, our customers, our vendors and our entire team of partners for helping us reach this goal. Backpacks for Kids is a true success story, and our team really embraces this program by adopting backpacks, making deliveries and coming up with creative ways to spread the word.  It's fitting that we have surpassed the 12,000 mark in the twelfth year of this great program."

Since its inception in 2003, the Backpacks for Kids program has filled 50,000 backpacks totaling $2.5 million in backpacks and supplies.  Bell Aliant works with more than 400 community organizations and schools to deliver the backpacks to the families who need them.  These organizations report that back-to-school costs can put a financial strain on families and the program lessens the burden during an already stressful time of year.

 "Back to school should be an exciting time for children - a new beginning in many ways," says Nick Jennery, Executive Director, FEED NOVA SCOTIA. "But for a single parent raising three school-aged children, it means three long lists of back to school items, at least three pairs of shoes and on top of that, all the extra food required to make healthy lunches. It involves a big outlay of cash in a very short window of time."

The Bell Aliant Backpacks for Kids program is an employee-driven initiative that receives significant volunteer support from the Bell Aliant Pioneers, as well as suppliers, customers and online contributions. The company purchases the backpacks and runs the campaign to help get the backpacks filled and distributed to kids in need before the first school bell rings.

Note to editors:

If you'd like to speak to a community partner about the direct impact of the program on the families it serves, please contact us and we will make arrangements to meet your specific deadline or requirements.

About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with FTTH technology with its FibreOP services. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality customer service, choice and convenience.

 

SOURCE Bell Aliant Inc.

Video with caption: "Video: Bell Aliant reminds people that it takes a whole community to help some kids have what they need to start right and finish strong.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYQhjLplCqY

Image with caption: "Boys and Girls Club, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5174.jpg

Image with caption: "Chatham-Kent Women's Centre, Chatham, Ontario. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5160.jpg

Image with caption: "Community Food Basket, Saint John, New Brunswick. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5161.jpg

Image with caption: "Boys and Girls Club, Saint John, New Brunswick. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5162.jpg

Image with caption: "Feed Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5163.jpg

Image with caption: "Lac-Abitibi School Board, La Sarre, Quebec. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5164.jpg

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant employees and friends, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5165.jpg

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant volunteers deliver backpacks to Ward5 Community Centre, Halifax, NS. (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C1013_PHOTO_EN_5166.jpg








For further information: Katie Burgess, Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs, 902-403-4684 (cell), katie.burgess@bellaliant.ca