Larry H. Miller Dealerships joins Denver7 and The Salvation Army for the annual Pack A Backpack school supply drive July 6-31, 2020. The campaign aims to get backpacks full of supplies into the hands of children in need across the Denver metro area and Boulder for the 2020-21 school year.
With more than 41 percent of Colorado students qualifying for free and reduced lunch before COVID-19, the need for school supplies has always existed. But the demand this year is expected to be even higher as the number of families experiencing poverty is likely to increase. As a result of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has served three times the number of people they usually would to meet the needs of families now experiencing unemployment. As school districts across the state determine how they will operate in the fall, distance learning in the spring showed the need for learning supplies at home, as well as in the classrooms.
“Larry H. Miller Dealerships understands the unique challenges facing families this year,” said Ray Reilly, senior vice president of operations, Larry H. Miller Dealerships. “We remain committed to education and doing what we can to ensure children don’t go without the essential tools they need to be successful, whether they’re learning in the classroom or remotely at home. We are proud to partner with Denver7 and The Salvation Army, who share the same commitment to student investment and community impact.”
Throughout July, with help from customers and employees, Larry H. Miller dealerships will fill a showroom vehicle at each of its 10 Denver and Boulder locations with school supplies. This year’s needs include backpacks, pencils, highlighters, scissors, binders, rulers, calculators and hand sanitizer. Collection bins will be at Larry H. Miller locations in Denver, Aurora, Centennial, Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, Thornton, Federal Heights and Boulder. To ensure the safety of employees and customers, dealerships are following recommended health and safety guidelines, including increased cleaning and disinfecting, employees wearing masks and social distancing.
Monetary contributions can be made online at salarmy.us/PackABackpackLHM. A contribution of just $15 can provide a backpack filled with supplies for a child in need. The campaign will benefit qualifying students throughout Colorado in grades 1 through 8 who receive assistance from The Salvation Army as well as designated Title I schools throughout Denver and Boulder.
“Going back to school can be a stressful experience for families every year, but we’ve never seen a year like this. There is still so much unknown, and families are struggling to make ends meet,” explained Rachael Fowler, Salvation Army PR & Special Events Director. “Pack A Backpack is important because it provides families the ability to take a moment to breathe and know that their children will have the school supplies they need.”
According to the National Retail Federation 2019 survey, families spend an average of $696.70 on back-to-school supplies. However, many parents have trouble meeting this financial strain and it often falls on teachers to reach into their own pockets to ensure students have supplies.
“We know how important school supplies are to student success,” said Dean Littleton, VP/General Manager of Denver7. “The goal of Pack a Backpack is that wherever learning takes place, students have what they need to achieve academic success. In a year when families have so many other things to adapt to, we’re here to help.”
For more information on Pack A Backpack, visit LHMPackABackpack.com.