MELVILLE, N.Y. -- To help build the confidence of many underserved children who would otherwise return to the classroom without essential school supplies or new clothes, Henry Schein, Inc., the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners, has launched its annual "Back to School" program. This year, more than 5,000 children will participate in the program. Since the program's inception in 1998, more than 32,000 children have headed back to school equipped for success with its help.
Henry Schein "Back to School" events are taking place at 29 Henry Schein locations this year. In 2014, the program expanded beyond the United States and Canada to Spain, and this year includes Scotland. Participating children will be provided with school essentials, including backpacks filled with classroom supplies, books, and hygiene products donated by Henry Schein. At many "Back to School" locations, children also will receive new first-day school outfits, personally selected and paid for by Team Schein Members.
"Our 'Back to School' program has been one of Henry Schein's longest-running and largest community service events, during which enthusiastic Team Schein Members make a significant difference in the lives of underserved children, boosting their confidence from the first day they walk through the classroom doors," says Gerry Benjamin, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Henry Schein. "Giving back to society is a core value of Team Schein, and we are proud to host 'Back to School' every year, having grown the program from one event at our company's headquarters in Melville to now 29 events worldwide."
At Henry Schein's worldwide corporate headquarters in Melville, N.Y., more than 600 children and their families pre-selected by local social service agencies received school supplies and clothes at a "Back to School" event yesterday. Dinner, games, balloon animals, face-painting, and music were among the fun-filled activities.
To help identify participating children and families in the Henry Schein "Back to School" program, Henry Schein partners annually with local social service organizations. For the event at the company's headquarters, Henry Schein partnered with 11 social service organizations, including Bethany House; Madonna Heights; Espoir Youth Program, Inc.; the Nassau County Department of Social Services; Family Service League; YES Community Counseling Center; MPowering Kids; Family and Children's Association; Hispanic Counseling Center; Pederson-Krag Center, Inc.; and The Raymar Children's Fund.
"For more than a decade, our families have participated in 'Back to School,' and it is always a pleasure to see the smiles on the children's faces as they excitedly receive brand new clothing, sneakers, and more," said Donna Teichner, Assistant Director, Family Ties, Family and Children's Association. "Self-esteem and resources are major components to academic success, and with the school supplies and clothing the children receive thanks to Henry Schein, we are better able to ensure that our families – many of them enduring a variety of crises – can have their children return to school feeling empowered to do well and feel well."
"Back to School" is a flagship initiative of Henry Schein Cares, the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein, and is supported by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that works to help increase access to health care in underserved communities around the world.