By Brian Formisano
Last August, I had the distinct honor of working with my Wells Fargo colleagues on a late August day at Sesame Place. We weren’t there to serve food, help folks get on rides, or walk around with the wonderful Sesame Place characters. We were there to help make the new school year better for the children of Bucks County.
I have a great family, and in just a few short days my children will be off to school. They attend Bucks County public schools, and even with the many resources these schools offer, our children still need backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other things just to get started on the right foot—and my wife and I will be able to provide our children with everything they need.
But for many parents across the county, preparing their children for this simple, yearly rite of passage isn’t easy—in fact, it can be simply impossible. And that’s why my company, Wells Fargo, and more than 100 of our team members, are again partnering with the United Way of Bucks County in the 2017 Stuff the Bus campaign.
I couldn’t be more proud of the team I lead. We have been collecting backpacks and supplies for weeks, and on August 24, we’ll be back at Sesame Place for our version of Stuff the Bus, which we call “Stuff the Stagecoach”—because instead of a bus, our iconic Wells Fargo stage coach will once again join us at Sesame Place. Our volunteers will be there all day, preparing backpacks with everything a child needs to have for their return to school.
Many of us know that 16% of the children in Bucks County struggle to have even basic needs like food and shelter met. We also know that getting a good start in school is critical to the long-term success of a child. Not having a good start in school puts a child behind their peers right from the beginning.
At Wells Fargo, we want to make sure that every student has a successful first day of class—and a successful school year. Filling these backpacks with school supplies is a great place to start. It will help students from all socioeconomic backgrounds begin the year with the tools they need to be successful.
But more needs to be done. At Wells Fargo, our volunteers regularly read to schoolchildren and we support programs like the Children’s Literacy Initiative and innovative campaigns like Read by 4th in Philadelphia. Closer to home, we couldn’t have a better partner than the United Way of Bucks County. Their programs and resources are second to none, and we are all much better off because of the services they provide to this county’s more than 600,000 residents.
Please join with Wells Fargo in supporting Stuff the Bus and in giving to the United Way of Bucks County. By doing so you’ll be helping this county’s children get the best possible start during a most critical period in their development.
Brian Formisano is Region Bank President for Wells Fargo
Help Stuff the Stagecoach by making a donation to stuff the bus. Visit www.uwbucks.org/stuffthebus