Wireless Zone stuffs backpacks for local schools

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

Verizon Wireless retailers across the country will host the fifth annual School Rocks backpack giveaway this month. On Sunday, July 23rd between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., local Wireless Zone and TCC stores will be inviting Southington families and their children to pick up a backpack filled with school supplies.

A recent press release stated that the National Retail Federation predicted the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $97.74 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks.

With more than 16 million children in the U.S. living in poverty, Wireless Zones, The Cellular Connection (TCC) and Culture of Good are working to alleviate the rising costs of school supplies.

“This is expected to be the biggest year yet, with more than 230,000 backpacks full of books expected to be delivered in 2017,” officials stated in the release.

Matt Schloemann, managing partner at the 842 Queen Street location, said that the company pays out of pocket to put together the backpacks, which are filled with items like pencils, notebooks, rulers, erasers, and more.

“It’s not a sales gimmick,” Schloemann said. The only requirement is you have to be an elementary-aged child and you have to be present.”

Families do not have to be Verizon customers and no purchase is necessary. Simply walk into any participating store with your child to pick up a backpack.

Schloemann said the giveaway is a company-wide event that is optional for all retail locations. He and his business partner recently purchased the Queen Street store in December, so this is their first time offering the service.

“We wanted to get involved in the community,” said Schloemann. They also own the Farmington Ave., Bristol location.

Each participating location will distribute 250 backpacks, and any leftover will be donated to local schools.

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