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Hudson Valley Press

September 26th, 2012

Children receive gifts for educational success

Members of the Garza family receive backpacks filled with school supplies, generously donated by the employees at IBM Sterling Forest and UPS Forwarding in Montgomery, NY, at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.
NEWBURGH – For over 20 years, generous employees at IBM Sterling Forest have donated backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County who would otherwise be without the materials they need to start – and make it through – the school year with the best possible chance for academic success. This year, UPS Newburgh employees got on that (school) bus, too.

Children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring program are children who face adversity. Bringing the life-changing support of a mentor in their lives can help them reach for educational success, improve attendance at school, and strive for better grades with the goal of graduating in the future. The first step is giving them the tools to learn.

That’s why these backpacks mean so much to the families BBBS serves. Filled with notebooks and rulers, dictionaries, colorful folders, pencils, binders, eraser, some even with fruit snacks for break time and anonymous encouraging notes, these are more than just gifts of physical learning implements. The backpacks are also like a quiet voice from behind saying, ‘you can do this.’ Helping children have greater confidence and reach for higher aspirations are the outcomes of mentoring.

Liz DiMaio of IBM Sterling Forest said, “We look forward to the Adopt-A-Student program each year, I think because deep down we are all kids at heart.” As a company filled with engineers, mathematicians, and business professionals, Ms. DiMaio explained that IBM “understands the importance of having the right tools for success”.

UPS Forwarding in Montgomery, a caring partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past five years, feels similarly. This year they stepped up their support even more by purchasing, filling, and donating the backpacks. Customer Service Agent for UPS Forwarding, Kristen Boyle, said, “I believe when you can bring a smile to someone’s day, it can change their lives forever” and that she can’t think of a better cause than “the children right here in our community”.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County is grateful for these business partnerships and those that help us with school-based mentoring. For more information about how you can get involved, visit or call (845) 562-5900.

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