Backpack giveaway a huge success


EATON — On Saturday, July 30, the Verizon Cellular Connection hosted the Culture of Good Backpack giveaway for local youths to obtain a free backpack for school.

TCC, the largest retailer for Verizon Wireless, sponsors the Culture of Good program. Cellular Connection, located on North Barron Street in Eaton, handed out backpacks to eager kids who waited in long lines which flowed outside the building, according to organizers.

James Roberts is the sales consultant who was responsible for the event.

“We started at noon and people were lined out almost to the street. Burger King volunteered to help keep people hydrated, Daylight Donuts donated doughnut holes, Grace Works here in Eaton helped volunteer, and J&L DJ service provided the music. It was just awesome. When I had seen what this meant to the kids, it was worth it. Me and my crew worked hard for this and I’m just grateful to everyone.”

“This is through our company with ‘Culture of Good.’ It’s a way of giving back to the community. We do it because there are a lot of families out there who can’t even afford a backpack for school. So, these kids have to carry stuff by hand and in some cases, can’t even buy school supplies. Ryan McCarty, the co-founder of the program, was doing this long before he became part of the corporation on a smaller scale. When he joined up with Scott Moorehead, our CEO, they paired up together on this program on a larger scale. Our company gives out over 100,000 backpacks nationwide.”

Over 250 backpacks were given out last weekend. This was the third straight year the Cellular Connection had hosted the event. What made this event different was the amount of entertainment and community assistance offered. Roberts looks to expand the giveaway and make it even bigger for next year.

Burger King, located next to Cellular Connection, offered free water to thirsty folks who waited in the afternoon heat for a backpack. Amanda Scott, acting restaurant manager, was requested to help out.

“Roberts just came over and asked if we could offer anything so we agreed, so I thought the water was the least we could do for them. I thought it was great because they were really thirsty and they kept coming over. It was a spur of the moment thing and we were glad to help.”

For Daylight Donuts, Paula Murray was the employee who agreed to help. “We provided doughnut holes for kids who came to the event. We made 20 dozen of these donuts and propped up some tables for the kids to sample the donuts. They were all gone, way before the backpacks. We set this up with James Roberts months ago and we love to contribute to the community. The owners, Kim and Nancy Lim were all for it — I just did the arrangements to help make it happen.”

Roberts added, there were lessons learned from this event.

“If I am a full time manager here, I want to make this something that kids can look forward to every year,” said Roberts. “I want to share my experiences with others to show what went well, what went wrong, and how to improve on this for years to come. We had the Preble County Sheriff, Eaton Fire Department and the Eaton EMT out here as well. One particular thing we learned is to be prepared for hot weather!”

“Our company does a lot of charity work for local communities. It’s just awesome to work for this company.”

By Oliver Sanders

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Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH

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