Nationwide Appraisal Network is collecting backpacks and school supplies for local children who attend Dunedin Highland Middle School in Florida. The goal is to collect 30 backpacks and fill them with the supplies the students will need to do their schoolwork. “I plan to make this charity drive an annual event in which participation increases every year because there are many children that need our help,” said Joni Pilgrim, co-founder and director of sales and marketing for Nationwide Appraisal Network. “We have several corporate and individual sponsors and I am happy to say we have a good chance of beating our goal. Next year, I plan to double the goal to 60.”
Sponsors will be recognized on Nationwide Appraisal Network’s social media posts via Facebook and Twitter and the company or individual that donates $100 will be listed on the “Have a Great Year” card found in every backpack. Nationwide will gratefully accept smaller donations and the charity drive is scheduled to end Aug. 8.
The middle school is located in Pinellas County, Fla., a region the recession hit with brutal, shocking ferocity as local statistics demonstrate:
►More than 2,000 children live in foster care.
►Twenty percent live in poverty.
►More than 3,000 children are homeless.
►Fifty-two percent of students in the county qualify for free or reduced lunches.
“We love to give back to our community and especially to the kids. We made this charity a priority because we want to help these kids start off the year on the right foot, and be able to focus on what’s important, and that’s school, not school supplies,” said Cari Burris, co-founder and director of pperations and finance for Nationwide Appraisal Management. “I hope they feel encouraged and loved by the community and understand that we want to see them succeed and do well.”
All 30 of Nationwide Appraisal Network’s employees are participating in the charity drive and many have volunteered to shop for the backpacks and supplies on tax-free days to ensure that as many backpacks and school supplies as possible are purchased for the children.