Most Needed Items are immediate needs of children's essential items in our warehouse. The most prevalent out-of-stock items are new underwear & socks, pants, winter coats, and books.
Citizens Bank Gear for Grades Collection to Benefit Cradles to Crayons
Fill a Backpack. Invest in a Child’s Future.
To help children go back to school with the supplies they need to learn, Citizens Bank will launch its Gear for Grades initiative on Monday, July 23. Customers and the public are invited to donate new items such as pencils, folders, glue, notebooks and other school supplies at any Citizens Bank branch in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware from July 23 through August 10. This year’s Gear for Grades program is in partnership with Cradles to Crayons.
In addition to collecting school supplies in its branches, the Citizens Bank Foundation is making a $30,000 grant to Cradles to Crayons to support the purchase of 3,500 logo-free backpacks for local children in need. The donation will support Cradles to Crayons’ goal of distributing 20,000 backpacks to local children through its Ready for School campaign.
“Gear for Grades ensures that local children have a new backpack filled with notebooks, pencils and pens so they are ready for a successful and productive year of learning,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. “Every child deserves the excitement of returning to school with new supplies and knowing that people care about their future. We thank our customers and the public in advance for supporting the Gear for Grades program.”
According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family spent $603 in 2011 on back-to-school expenses. For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden. The supplies most in need include child-safe scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, pocket folders, spiral notebooks, crayons, washable markers, rulers, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencil boxes and index cards.
“The Gear for Grades initiative will go a long way toward getting the school year off to a great start for thousands of local children,” said Michal Smith, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons. “Citizens Bank is fulfilling a need that most people take for granted. The new backpacks and school supplies will make the return to the classroom a more exciting time for many disadvantaged children.”
To culminate the program, hundreds of volunteers from Citizens Bank and other corporations will stuff 20,000 backpacks with school supplies in one day. The filled backpacks will be distributed through Cradles to Crayons’ network of community partners and given directly to children who need them most in time for the start of the school year. School supplies collected in more than 150 local Citizens Bank branches will support Cradles to Crayons’ year-round effort to keep children prepared for school.
This year, more than 37,000 backpacks will be distributed to children across RBS Citizens Financial Group’s footprint where it operates as Citizens Bank in the Mid-Atlantic and New England and Charter One in the Midwest. Since 2003, Gear for Grades has provided more than 200,000 children with new backpacks and school supplies.
Donate new school supplies at any Citizens Bank branch and help prepare a child for a year of learning.
Suggested items include:
The collection runs from July 23 - August 10 in all branches. Stop by your branch to learn more and make a donation.
About Gear for Grades
At Citizens Bank, we believe good banking is good citizenship. We support the communities where we live and work through initiatives such as Gear for Grades. The back-to-school season can create a financial strain for many families. Through the Gear for Grades initiative, Citizens Bank will join with colleagues, customers and the community to send children back to school with the gear they need to succeed. Since Gear for Grades began in 2003, more than 175,000 children have received backpacks and school supplies. With your help, Citizens Bank will donate more than 37,000 backpacks this year – surpassing the 200,000th backpack distributed in program history.