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Tech Company Proves Value of Old-school No. 2 Pencils
by Julie Cramer
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2016
According to Huntington Bank’s Annual Backpack Index, the cost of back-to-school supplies has climbed over the last 10 years—up 88% for elementary school students alone. According to the Index, parents can expect to pay per child:
  • $659 for elementary-schoolers
  • $957 for middle-schoolers
  • $1,498 for high-schoolers

So how does a parent earning minimum wage buy markers and notebooks at the tune of nearly $700 when the median gross rent in the United States just two years ago was $934? According to the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University: “More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,550 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 45% of children live in low-income families.”

As an international agency, Orphan Outreach is as dedicated to improving the education of children in the foothills of the Himalayas as it is the education of children in the Hill Country of Texas. So when tech company, NVIDIA, asked how it could adapt the Mission Backpack program for U.S. children, Orphan Outreach set out to make it happen.

“We have been assisting NVIDIA donate backpacks to help children in need in the U.S. for the past five years,” Amy Seale, Director of Technology and Web Development. “NVIDIA has 14 offices around the U.S. and each office sets a target goal. They go to our website and order the backpacks, and then we fulfill the orders and ship them to the recipients.”

Valerie Schubert, who manages NVIDIA’s Austin, Texas, office, sees the collaboration as an effective way to increase employee volunteerism and community engagement across the country, but for children in the local schoolyards of each office. In fact, according to the NVIDIA Foundation’s website, “the company donated more than $1,500,000 and 12,700 volunteer hours to education-related efforts [in 2015]. We reached more than 64,000 children.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.41.52 PM

Compared to the Huntington Backpack Index, Orphan Outreach’s Mission Backpack program beats any retailer’s back-to-school bargain. Not only does $24 buy one backpack chocked full of supplies, but it also boosts a child’s confidence and chances for success as soon as that first bell rings.

Help a child get off to a good start this year—donate a backpack of supplies today! Or, if your company or group is interested in following NVIDIA’s lead, contact Tiffany Taylor Wines, director of marketing, at 972.941.4436.

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