By Michele Garrity
There are few shopping seasons more stressful than Back to School. For many students and their families, the mandatory annual expenses can be somewhat of a strain. According to The Backpack Index, an annual survey of the cost of school supplies and other expenses, the cost of school supplies has increased as much as 88% since 2007. Parents spend, on average, a minimum of just nearly $700/year to prepare their children for the upcoming school year.
At PECO, we have a strong commitment to giving back to the communities we serve and preparing future leaders through the support of various education programs and initiatives that will help prepare young people as they enter the new school year. School supplies are an expensive yet necessary investment for students, and the organizations and initiatives we support work hard to minimize that financial burden on parents – particularly those in low-income communities. This allows students to receive the tools they need to focus on success and removes a great deal of stress from their families.
Along with partnering with Cradles to Crayons for their annual Ready for School initiative which distributes backpacks and custom KidPacks to thousands of kids throughout the region; and supporting ACHIEVEability’s annual Backpack Donation Drive, which provides more than 1,000 West Philadelphia students with backpacks and supplies each year, PECO is a proud, longtime partner of United Way of Bucks County.
In Bucks County, 16% of kids struggle to have their basic needs – including things like school supplies – met. Success starts with the first step, so we understand the importance of equipping students with the school supplies they need to kick off each year on the right foot. Last year, PECO assisted United Way of Bucks County in providing 2,868 kids in need with backpacks stuffed with school supplies, and this year we’re committed to helping them reach their goal of 3,000.
We believe it is our responsibility to do what we can to help lessen this burden on the communities, like Bucks County, and residents we serve.
We also encourage residents within our communities to join us in giving back this Back to School season. Starting the year with the right supplies is critically important for students in elementary through high school. If monetary donations aren’t an option for you, volunteering with United Way of Bucks County to help stuff the bus is also an option. We look forward to meeting you, and best of luck to our young people across Bucks County and the Greater Philadelphia region as they prepare to enter another school year!
About the Contributor
PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, serving more than 2 million customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employing about 2,400 residents. PECO is one of the region’s most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.