RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – CO-OP Financial Services and its credit union partners are collaborating with Yoobi for the third consecutive year on a Back-to-School Backpack Bundle Drive. The program empowers credit unions to support schools and students in their communities. The 2018 campaign provided school supplies to more than 2,000 students throughout the U.S.
“Consumers are increasingly attracted to organizations that engage in the betterment of their local communities,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP. “By participating in programs like the Backpack Bundle Drive, credit unions have yet another way to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. Best of all, this program enables local contributions to be matched on a national level, multiplying the efforts of credit union staff and members across the country.”
For every $1,500 a credit union invests in the program, the cooperative receives 50 backpacks and school supplies for students in need. Yoobi will donate an equal number of backpacks and supplies to the Kids in Need Foundation, which will distribute the items nationally. CO-OP has also partnered with Money Mammals and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) to deliver financial literacy kits to an educational institution selected by each participating credit union.
Credit unions who participate in the program often host assembly parties with their teams to stuff the backpacks and select the educational institution to receive the financial literacy kits. It is the credit union’s decision where to donate the backpacks. Local schools, homeless shelters, organizations for foster kids and local chapters of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America are just a few examples of recipient organizations.
Any credit union can participate, regardless of affiliation with CO-OP, and online sign-up is open now through September 15.
For many students, school supplies are a luxury their families cannot afford. According to the 2018 National Retail Federation survey, families with elementary, middle and high school children spend a total of $685 per household to prepare their kids for the upcoming school year. As a result, 91 percent of U.S. teachers purchase supplies for their classrooms with their own money. The Kids in Need Foundation reports teachers spend an average of $564 to help their students with supplies.
“We had a great time stuffing the backpacks and delivering them to our recipient organization, Connecting Hands, which our members actually chose,” said Scott Rains, President/CEO, of Eagle Community Credit Union of Placentia, California, based on their 2018 participation. “Ultimately, the campaign had just as much impact on the credit union as it did the local families. It aligned well with our ‘Helping Hands/Give Back Initiative,’ built team comradery, grew our social media presence and engaged our members in something relevant, personalized and meaningful.”
The 2019 Back-to-School Backpack Bundle Drive is part of CO-OP Purpose, a corporate social responsibility program for credit unions that provides turnkey, impactful community initiatives to help credit unions advance their mission of people helping people. Under the CO-OP Purpose umbrella, CO-OP also offers CO-OP Miracle Match, a matching program that encourages credit unions to hold fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
For more information and to register for the drive, visit CO-OP’s backpack initiative webpage.
Founded in 2014, Yoobi is a school, home and office supplies company committed to solving school supply shortages nationwide. Yoobi believes that school supplies should be available to every child in every classroom, and teachers should not have to spend their hard-earned money to make that happen. Since its launch, Yoobi has provided free school supply sets to more than three million students in three years. For more information, visit www.yoobi.com.