For the past week, my wife and I have been busy getting our three children ready for the school year. They all 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 in the school year.
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 Bucks County team members, are partnering with the United Way of Bucks County in this year’s 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 25, we will descend on Sesame Place for our version of Stuff the Bus, which we call “Stuff the Stagecoach”—because instead of a bus, we’ll have our iconic Wells Fargo stage coach at Sesame Place. And 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 socio-economic 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 in 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.
About the contributor: Brian Formisano is Bucks County Community Bank Area President for Wells Fargo.