Large e-commerce company, Amazon worked with St. Vincent de Paul to donate 330 backpacks to six Head Start locations in Baltimore last month. The backpacks were filled with more than $8,000 worth of books, pencils, craft items and workbooks focused on reading, writing, math and science.
Representatives from Amazon surprised 40 preschool children at the Pimlico Art Center Head Start where each child received a backpack filled with educational items to help them “Learn and Be Curious” during the summer months and to start kindergarten ready to thrive, according to officials.
“Amazon continuously looks for ways to give back to the communities where our associates live and work. We appreciate all that St. Vincent de Paul does to help children and families in need throughout the city,” said Anne Laughlin, the community relations and communications specialist at Amazon. “We worked closely with them to make sure children have educational resources that encourage learning over the summer months.”
The company is proud to call the City of Baltimore home and is committed being a part of the fabric of the city, Laughlin said.
“Our Baltimore City fulfillment and sortation centers employ more than 4,000 full-time employees and, in the fall, we will launch another fulfillment center in Sparrows Point which will employ another 1,500 full-time employees,” she said. “Part of being a great neighbor, a responsible corporate citizen, is giving back to our local community. We are pleased to be able to support nonprofits like St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore that make a positive impact on children in need.”
Michelle Boyle, the vice president of development and marketing at SVDP Baltimore, says many families struggle to find the resources, time and energy to provide a fun and engaging summer break for their children.
“Amazon’s gift of educational items will help keep minds engaged over the summer months, when low-income children are most susceptible to summer learning loss,” Boyle said. “We are thankful for the donated items and the time and care Baltimore Amazon associates volunteered over the past two weeks to kit and deliver more than 300 backpacks to our children across the city.”
Boyle says the organization is excited to work with Amazon, a company known for its operations expertise and customer obsession, and has plans to continue partnering over the summer on activities that will help improve operational efficiencies and customer service for SVDP.
Shan Byrne, the director of operations for Amazon’s Baltimore fulfillment center, said it’s a privilege for the company to reach out to programs like SVDP.
“At Amazon, one of the principles we live by is to ‘Learn and Be Curious.’ We hope our donation will inspire a love of learning in these young children and will launch a fun and educational summer,” Byrne said.
The children served by St. Vincent de Paul’s Head Start program need the support of the community and Amazon wants to do everything possible to give them the tools they need to succeed, Laughlin said.
“With this donation of educational items, we hope to encourage children to continue learning over the summer, when low-income children are most susceptible to summer learning loss,” she said. “Our donation of educational items provides an introduction to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as they prepare for Kindergarten in fall.”
Amazon started as an online book company and promoting literacy, learning and STEM education is an important cause, which Amazon is passionate about supporting.
“We hope this donation of great books, workbooks and other supplies help inspire children across Baltimore City to ‘Learn and Be Curious,’” Laughlin said.