Koozie Group, United Way Suncoast Partner For Backpack Joy

   Koozie Group employees packed Back to School backpacks in a collaborative effort with United Way Suncoast, and then recipients unpacked brightly beaming smiles.

   Down in Wimauma, Reddick Elementary assistant principal Aliyah Norman, dressed like a bee because her school earned a B grade from the state’s Department of Education, couldn’t contain her enthusiasm as Murry Harris presented her with some of the backpacks. At Myakka City Elementary, principal Carol Ricks and Assistant Principal Betsy Bickel-Perry coddled the supplies like precious children. They plan on distributing to kindergarten students who often come to school with no backpack or school supplies. 

   Overall, United Way Suncoast distributed approximately 1,000 backpacks to 36 schools of focus in its five-county region: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto.

   Koozie’s employees in St. Petersburg and Clearwater filled the backpacks with a variety of school supplies, unlocking the students’ minds to learning and opening their hearts to a love of school.

   United Way Suncoast’s Ali Holton said the Koozie Group has a top down approach to philanthropy and have weaved it into their business to “keep the good going.”

   “Each individual that I spoke with, from their CEO, marketing department and the entire staff saw value and pride in working for a company that gives back,” Ali said. “They each expressed their pride and excitement to help their community and the sky is the limit for more giving in the future.”

   The giveaway represents just one aspect of United Way Suncoast’s comprehensive educational effort. It ensures equity and access for marginalized children 0-9 while reducing the economic barriers encountered by their families. We invest in and implement programs that operate within selected Title 1 Elementary School attendance zones, and it pairs its proven programmatic work with policy advocacy and collaborative partnerships.

   As school shifts into full gear for the 2022-23 school year, we thank Koozie employees for boosting the start for a deserving group of children, and we salute the teachers and administrators for their dedication to education. Write On.

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