For those of us who are parents, late summer hosts a few annual traditions like sneaking in that last mini vacation, cookouts with the family, and gearing up for back to school. Although these things are common for folks around Bucks County, there are a great number of families that do not experience these traditions we may take for granted. Throughout Bucks County there are over 20,000 children that struggle to have their needs met, especially during the back-to-school weeks.
To help these families in need, an amazing partnership was developed between four outstanding pillars in our community. This partnership was initiated by AWeber Communications and the United Way, who teamed up to execute a backpack and school supply drive, focused in Central Bucks. They were joined shortly by New Britain Township Business Alliance and the Merchants of Doylestown.
The drive was part of AWeber’s “Day of Giving,” created to celebrate their 15th anniversary. The “Day of Giving” was established to allow their associates a chance to give back to the local community.
As a member of the New Britain Township Business Alliance, AWeber reached out to other businesses within the group to help increase the scope of the drive. As word of this initiative began to circulate, the Merchants of Doylestown group stepped up as well. This extended the collection down the Route 202 corridor, where over 30 Doylestown businesses became drop-off locations.
On August 22nd, all supplies that were donated by these businesses were brought together at AWeber. A massive assembly line was formed to fill backpacks with donated school supplies. It was manned by the staff of AWeber, along with volunteers from the United Way, New Britain Township Business Alliance, and Merchants of Doylestown.
Local celebrity and former American Idol finalist Justin Guarini also volunteered his time to help fill backpacks. He even made sure to take advantage of the popular AWeber slides from the second floor to the first floor along with his young son. This All-Star team was able to assemble close to 350 backpacks filled with supplies, to be distributed to families in need throughout the Central Bucks School District. The volunteers included a personal note to each recipient, wishing them a great school year and providing words of encouragement.
There was tremendous media exposure of the event, with stories or coverage from ABC-6, The Bucks County Herald, The Bucks County Intelligencer, 93.3 WMMR, Fig Doylestown Magazine, Doylestown/New Britain Patch.com, and more. Special recognition goes to Donna Bacon and Brandyn Bassigner (AWeber), Marissa Christie (United Way of Bucks County), Leslie Bilotta (New Britain Township Business Alliance), and the Merchants of Doylestown Group. Because of their amazing dedication to this project, hundreds of children in Central Bucks will now start the school year with the tools they need to be the head of the class.
About the Contributor: Derrick Morgan leads the Marketing, PR, and Communications for the Merchants of Doylestown group, and is co-owner of Monkey’s Uncle in Doylestown. With almost 20 years of experience in marketing, retail, training, and non-profit work, Derrick has been able to share his knowledge to help grow the Merchants of Doylestown group from 4 businesses to over 130, in just 3 years. He has been a major force in creating and organizing major events to help brand Doylestown as a destination for dining, shopping, culture, and entertainment. He helped rally the Doylestown Business Community to collect over $2000 worth of school supplies for this drive.