For the second year in a row, office managers in our U.S. regional offices — Austin, Boston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — rallied WE employees in a friendly competition to collect and deliver school supplies to support low-income students at local schools or learning centers. Many kids don’t have basic school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, erasers or calculators. Our “Regional School Supplies Smackdown” helps give students access to resources they need to succeed in school.
Together, more than 90 employees collected close to 1,100 school supplies items (e.g., single items like backpacks and packaged items like pencils). That’s an average of 12 items per employee to benefit nonprofit organizations such as Volunteers of America’s Operation Back Pack, Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco and Playworks Massachusetts (as you can read below).
Congratulations to the WE-Austin office for collecting the most items per headcount and winning the well-deserved “office luncheon” grand prize. This is such a great way to have FUN and collaborate to benefit a cause that WE and its employees deeply care about: education.
Earlier in September, Stephanie Miceli, Victoria von Rinteln and Andrea Reeve joined me to deliver six full backpacks and a large box filled with school supplies to our Playworks Massachusetts partner school, the Blackstone School in Boston’s South End. Playworks operates within the school to increase regular opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. In addition to delivering the items, we used our WE Volunteer Hours to help out as assistant coaches for an afternoon of recess with second through fifth grade students on a warm and sunny fall day in Boston.
This year brings a new Playworks coach to Blackstone, Coach Kelsey. Last year’s coach, Jay, now works at Blackstone as a full-time physical education teacher, along with another former Playworks coach. Coach Kelsey is a second-year coach who came from a school in Hyde Park, so she was able to provide good insights about popular games with the kids, negotiation and conflict resolution strategy, and fun physical activities. Coach Kelsey let us dive right into several play stations she set up, including 4-square, hula-hoops and jump ropes, 3-on-3 soccer, kickball, and freeze tag.
Everyone in WE-Boston, whether they were able to make it out to recess or not, was happy to help the students at Blackstone with school supplies and see that they had a fun afternoon of play with some very big kids-at-heart!