Henry Schein’s 20th annual ‘Back to School’ program helps more than 5,000 kids

The program provides children with backpacks, school supplies, hygiene products and new clothes.

Henry Schein, Inc., is helping children around the world return to the classroom ready to learn by providing them with backpacks, school supplies and new clothes through its 20th annual “Back to School” program. This year, more than 5,000 children will participate in the program at 30 Henry Schein locations in the U.S., Canada, Scotland and Spain. Since the program’s inception in 1998, it has helped nearly 50,000 children head back to school equipped for success.

In addition to classroom essentials, children participating in the “Back to School” program also receive books and hygiene products donated by Henry Schein, and at many program events, first-day-of-school outfits purchased by Team Schein Members. The “Back to School” program is a flagship initiative of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program.

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“For 20 years, our Team Schein Members have helped children in need meet the challenges of a new school year with confidence, and in that time we have watched them grow, mature and achieve,” says Gerry Benjamin, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Henry Schein. “It is rewarding to have played a small part in their achievements and serves to reinforce our commitment to the ‘Back to School’ program.”

Last Thursday, approximately 550 children and their families participated in a “Back to School” event hosted by the company at its worldwide headquarters in Melville, N.Y. where, in addition to new clothes and school supplies, they also enjoyed dinner, games, music, crafts, dress-up stations and other fun activities. A video from last week’s event can be viewed here.

“The backpack that I received at one of these events lasted me until I finished college, so I’m very appreciative of the support my family and I have received through the ‘Back to School’ program,” says previous program participant and Dartmouth College graduate Keyry Alvarez-Carcamo. “Getting school supplies may seem like a little thing, but it’s an opportunity, and meeting all of these great people and volunteers who are going to be in your life for a long time drives home what this program is really all about.”

The company partnered with 11 local social service organizations to pre-identify the participating children and their families: Bethany House; Espoir Youth Program, Inc.; Family and Children's Association; Family Service League; Hispanic Counseling Center; Madonna Heights; Nassau County Department of Social Services; Northwell Health, The Raymar Children's Fund; WellLife Network; and YES Community Counseling Center.

“For a family that struggles to make ends meet, the ‘Back to School’ program means so much more than just a backpack, books and new clothes,” says Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, president and chief executive officer, Family and Children’s Association. “It means that those children are able to walk into the classroom with their heads held high. For more than 130 years, our organization has depended on community partnerships to help our families through difficult times, and Henry Schein has been a valued partner for two decades. We thank Team Schein Members around the world for their kindness and generosity toward those who need it most.”