As a dedicated member of the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA), Willmeng gathered significant resources to help the organization’s 2017 Backpack Supply Drive make the greatest impact. In the drive’s seventh year, the ABA raised more than $25,000 worth of backpacks and supplies to donate to 500 children total at RISE Services, Inc. and students of Children First Leadership Academy. Both nonprofits cater to the needs of homeless and impoverished children.
“When Veronica and I volunteered we counted and verified that all of the donated supplies were there and then divided everything up to meet each organization’s needs,” said Tino Hernandez, project engineer. “I was absolutely shocked with how much was donated!”
According to a press release distributed by the ABA, “The backpacks, each unique in theme, provided students with a fidget spinner, a pencil box filled with a variety of writing utensils, notebooks and paper, and organizational and craft supplies. Teachers were provided with cleaning supplies, toiletries and classroom items, and canned food and gently used clothes were also donated.”
“The Backpack Supply Drive really focuses us on the needs of those that are nearby – our neighbors,” said Veronica Davis, project manager. “These are Phoenix kids that don’t have the tools to learn. Their supplies are brand new and they don’t have to share, so they feel a great sense of ownership.”
The ABA says that they could not have pulled it off without member support. “The cost of school supplies can be a burden to families in distress, and our member companies were thrilled to be part of the solution,” said Erica Lange. “Not only is this annual event a heartwarming opportunity for the construction industry to be involved in the community, but it also brings our industry closer together for one common cause, which is one of the ABA’s overall goals in addition to industry education.”