As students head back to school, Zeal Credit Union set a goal to collect 75 backpacks stuffed with grade-specific supplies to support Volunteers of America Michigan’s Operation Backpack program.
Zeal exceeded that goal by collecting 80, and employees delivered 80 fully stuffed backpacks, each containing 20 to more than 40 items depending on grade level. The backpacks are being distributed through the local interdisciplinary school district’s homeless student programs.
Among the school supplies included were binders, notebooks, crayons, pencils, markers, staplers, crayons, calculators, USB flash drives, tissues and hand sanitizers. Along with the fully stuffed backpacks, credit union employees delivered three empty backpacks and dozens of miscellaneous supplies.
“We are so grateful for Zeal Credit Union and the community members that helped make their drive a success,” said Laura LeBlanc, accepting the donations on behalf of the Volunteers of America Michigan. “Operation Backpack works to help alleviate the extra burden that homeless students carry. They already have to worry about where they might sleep tonight or when they will find their next meal.
“Our goal is to make sure that their circumstances won’t follow into the classroom and their ability to succeed. Because of Zeal’s donation, over 80 students will be able to be able to walk into school prepared on day one and that is simply inspiring.”
“Sticking true to our pillars as a credit union that lives with character, feels with empathy, and acts with passion, we wanted to ensure homeless and at-risk children in Michigan enjoy a great start to the school year,” said Tiffany Sweet, youth and community development coordinator for Zeal.
Sweet recognized community partners for their monetary donations that allowed Zeal to exceed its goal: Westland Shopping Center, CUNA Mutual, American Speedy Printing in Livonia, and Team Facilities Inc.
Volunteers of America Michigan (www.voami.org) is a faith-based, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Operating continuously in Michigan since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered the most vulnerable in the community.