We scored a huge success with our school-supply drive and backpack giveaway!

September 30th, 2019

Our EBMS culture has always included giving back to our community – and our latest community initiative is one of the most rewarding yet!

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and a commitment from EBMS volunteers, many Montana students received a colorful backpack full of new school supplies. The Public Education Health Trust in Alaska also received stuffed backpacks. And we didn’t forget about the teachers, either! Educators received boxes of supplies to use in their classrooms as they kicked off the new school year.

The idea for the backpack drive came from EBMS CEO James Vertino, who led similar corporate-sponsored drives at other companies prior to joining EBMS. A group of EBMS employees banded together as The Backpack Leaders to set up teams within various departments. The teams coordinated donation and fundraising activities, put up posters and met weekly to brainstorm new ways to get the word out and inspire others to donate.

Throughout the six-week campaign, staff motivation remained high, boosted by internal emails and social media messages. A small mountain of school supplies grew steadily within our EBMS corporate office in West Billings. Some of our partners and vendors also participated in collecting supplies – including Kinetic Marketing & Creative and Entre Technology Services, both in Billings; and Healthx, in Indianapolis.

And the results speak for themselves! At the end of the drive, backpacks and supplies were delivered to school district leaders for distribution. An early thank-you note from a school administrator in Alaska read: Please express our gratitude and appreciation to EBMS. The backpacks are beautiful and the supplies will be well used. I can’t wait to let our students pick out their new backpacks!

Will we do this again? Absolutely! After all, we’re in the business of improving lives – and education is one of the social determinants of health. Supporting our local schools and students is a terrific way to help build healthy communities. We hope to continue this drive for many years to come.