BOMA’s Backpack Drive Helps Make the Back-to-School Brighter for Foster Youth

By: Michele Ignacio, AO Reed Service and BOMA San Diego Board of Directors

When I was a kid, my parents would take me to the store to buy a new backpack, binder, notebooks, and pencils at the beginning of each school year. If I was persistent enough, they also bought me a snazzy pencil pouch, an assortment of markers, a fancy click-eraser and mechanical pencil. Looking back I realize how fortunate I was to have these supplies to get me through the school year. It was one less thing for me to worry about, and gave me the opportunity to focus my energy on the assignments and having fun with my friends at school…and well it gave me the opportunity to simply be a kid.

boma-backpacks3After volunteering for Promises2kids through the Building Owner Managers Association (BOMA) San Diego for the past three years, I learned that there are many foster children in our community who need the essential school supplies. Imagine if you were a foster child – dealing with family issues, neglect/abuse, switching homes, and switching schools. It’s a lot for them to deal with at a young age. By partnering with Promises2kids, BOMA San Diego is able to help Promises2kids with their mission to create positive and productive futures for San Diego’s abused and at-risk children. Founded over 30 years ago as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation of San Diego County, Promises2kids has answered to the needs to foster children and promote the fight against child abuse and neglect in our town.

Since A.O. Reed is celebrating our 100th year of being in business, I decided to challenge our employees and my social media network to help me collect 100 backpacks for the BOMA Drive. (BOMA challenged its 300 member organization to collect 200 backpacks in total.)

With donations coming in from our A.O. Reed team as well as my family and friends throughout the world (as far as Dubai), we exceeded our expectations! To date, BOMA collected a total of….

  • 204 backpacks (AO Reed collected 116 of the 204 backpacks)
  • 1,309 school supplies
  • $570 cash donations (Translates to about 25 backpacks)

…and Promises2kids is still counting our donations!

At the August 12th BOMA monthly membership meeting, BOMA San Diego President (and A.O. Reed customer) Kristin Howell took to the podium to thank all of the donators for their contributions and gave A.O. Reed a special shout-out for our “impressive goal of 100 backpacks” in honor of our anniversary.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated backpacks and school supplies for this Drive!