2014 Family Volunteer Day

IMG_1898aJust because school is out in the summer time doesn’t mean Otter Kids don’t stay busy giving back to the community! This summer, more than 40 Otters and Otter Kids participated in our Family Volunteer Day! Here at the OtterCares Foundation, we don’t just believe in talking about teaching philanthropy. We put our thoughts and beliefs into action by encouraging employees to bring their kids along to volunteer!

IMG_1850aOur hardworking volunteers planted over 3,000 plant plugs at Springer Natural Area in Fort Collins to help restore an area previously disrupted by construction. Everyone had fun getting their hands dirty and learning about the importance of volunteer work to keeping these natural areas beautiful for generations to come!

By encouraging families to volunteer together, the OtterCares Foundation is helping to inspire the next generation of philanthropists. We encourage those of you with little ones at home to get out and volunteer. Create a habit of giving back that will last a lifetime!

For more photos from Family Volunteer Day, visit our Facebook page!

Pack2School For Back to School

Ah….the excitement of going back to school.  I remember being excited for new beginnings, reconnecting with old friends, making new friends, sporting a few new clothes, and being proud of my new backpack filled with new school supplies.  I remember feeling anxious about fitting in and wondering how the other kids had changed over the summer. It never dawned on me that having new school supplies was a big part of the back to school experience.

Pack2School2014 095Imagine what it would be like if you were a kid and you didn’t get new school supplies because of circumstances beyond your control.  Certainly, it wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen but it would likely impact your school work, your confidence to learn, and how you felt about yourself.  Confidence is an important trait in life, especially in school.  How students think and feel about themselves matters.

Helping kids learn and know they “can” is a guiding belief for us at the OtterCares Foundation.  In 2011, we took on the responsibility for Pack2School, a program founded by the Education and Life Training Center nearly 40 years ago to provide deserving Poudre School District students with new school supplies.

On August 8th, 180 employees of OtterBox and Blue Ocean Enterprises volunteered over 650 hours to help make Pack2School another huge success.  Over 1,800 students were paired with personal shoppers who assisted with the selection of the school supplies needed to help make the coming school year a success.

Students also had the opportunity to partake in fun activities to learn about philanthropy and entrepreneurship (and win cool neon brain-shaped erasers!).  By the end of the day, many of the students were standing a little taller, their eyes a little brighter and voices became more enthusiastic.  I know there were a bunch of kids that had a blast and left feeling good about themselves.

There are times when a simple thank you doesn’t seem enough and this is one of those times.  But, to all of the OtterBox and Blue Ocean employees:Pack2School2014 059

You made a difference in kids’ lives and it is appreciated very much.  THANK YOU!

A note from one of the kiddos:  “Thank you for All of the wonderfull school supplies, and fun. Whithought the contrabutions of your company I whould not have the correct supplys for school, And I whould have just Been sitting At Home Being Bord for the hole day.  I Loved how we got to chose what color of note Books And other supplys that we got.  I just hope that next year I can know that I am love so much that I will be Able to connect with the staff as much as I connected this year.”

 

Pack2School 2014

Pack2School_2WHEN:  Friday, August 8, 2014           9:00am – 6:00pm

WHERE:  Northside Aztlan Community Center  –  112 E. Willow Street  –  Fort Collins

Qualifying K-12 Poudre School District students will receive school supplies free of charge.

To receive supplies, each child must attend the event.

The parent/guardian is asked to bring a photo ID and one of the following documents:
•    Poudre School District Free & Reduced Lunch Award Letter  (2014-15 or 2013-14)
•    EBT / Quest Card and a recent grocery receipt
•    Colorado Indigent Care Program card
•    Current State of Colorado Adult Financial Award Notice

If you do not have any of these documents and are currently receiving state aid, you can visit the Larimer County Department of Human Service’s Office at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive to receive appropriate documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are school supply donations needed from the community?
~ No, the OtterCares Foundation purchases all of the supplies needed for Pack2School. If you, your business or community group would like to support students in our community by collecting school supplies, please contact Beth Higgins at the PSD Partnership office for other opportunities: bhiggins@psdschools.org

I received a Pack2School Qualification Voucher from a local agency; do I still need to bring one of the documents listed above?
~ No, you only need to bring the signed Qualification Voucher and a photo ID. Each child needing school supplies must also attend with you.

Can a parent attend Pack2School without their child and pick up supplies or have a backpack reserved for their child?
~ No, Students must be in Kindergarten through 12th grade at a Poudre School District School and must be present to receive supplies. No supplies will be given to parents and only one backpack is allowed per student.
Supplies will only be distributed on August 8 and no backpacks will be reserved for people who cannot attend on that day.

When is the best time of the day to attend Pack2School?
~ Supplies will be available all day for qualified students and families.  To avoid longer lines, consider attending in the afternoon.

My child attends a school in the Thompson School District (Loveland & Berthoud).  Can they receive supplies at Pack2School?
~ No, the Pack2School event is for Poudre School District students only.  The Thompson Education Foundation does distribute backpacks and supplies to students in TSD during each school’s registration dates in August. Back to school registration information for TSD can be found on the district’s website at www.thompsonschools.org

I have other questions, who can I contact?
~ Please call the Pack2School telephone line at (970) 980-2003 and your message will be returned within 2 business days.