The Rapidian

Varnum employees donate school supplies to Buchanan Elementary

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Varnum employees collected and donated school supplies to GRPS Buchanan Elementary. Their donation will save each teacher roughly $500-$1,000 this school year.
Buchanan teachers gather to pick up school supplies for their classrooms.

Buchanan teachers gather to pick up school supplies for their classrooms. /Grand Rapids Public Schools

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Varnum employees help to unload a truck full of school supplies at Buchanan Elementary.

Varnum employees help to unload a truck full of school supplies at Buchanan Elementary. /Grand Rapids Public Schools

Employees from Varnum law firm delivered more than 125 boxes of school supplies to Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Buchanan Elementary on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. These boxes were filled with school supplies, including pencils, notebooks, crayons, scissors, and more, to aid Buchanan’s 500+ students for the upcoming school year.

After teachers were given the opportunity to fill out request forms specific their classroom needs, Varnum employees personally donated, collected, and organized school supplies to meet the needs of each specific teacher. In all, over 800 notebooks, 5,000 pencils, 1,000 sets of flashcards, 900 highlighters and much more was donated to Buchanan.

“There is a real need for school supplies at Buchanan, like at so many other schools,” said Nikki Cushman, Paralegal for Varnum (Cushman helped to spear-head the donation efforts). “We are so glad to be able to give back to the community and we are very pleased with the way this partnership has worked out. It’s been such a great fit for everyone.”

Cushman stressed the fact that these donations did not come from a Varnum corporate fund of any kind, but rather that all of these supplies were purchased or donated personally from the company’s individual employees.
The relationship between Buchanan Elementary and Varnum staff has lasted for more than a decade. In recent years, it has developed into a year-round friendship with a number of different events taking place during the school year including a luncheon for teachers in the Fall, an ice-cream social for students in the Spring, and a visit from Santa during the holidays.

 “We are so thankful for the hearts of Varnum employees for donating these supplies to us,” said Evelyn Ortiz, Principal at Buchanan.

The donations from Varnum will supply each classroom with the necessary supplies to support students’ education. A group of Buchanan teachers said that without the donation, the teachers themselves would have to purchase the supplies for their classrooms, which can cost as much as $500 - $1,000 for one classroom for the school year.

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