Photo by Melany Stroupe

Photo by Melany Stroupe

This story was contributed by Melany Stroupe

Many Phoenix students will start the new year without the proper school supplies. But thanks to the Pak to School program sponsored by the generous folks at American Express, more than 20,000 of Valley of the Sun children return to school carrying a backpack stuffed with the tools they’ll need to learn and grow!

American Express has been the lead sponsor in The Salvation Army’s Pak to School drive for six years. In addition to making a significant financial donation, American Express employees hold their own donation drive. This year, employees contributed more than 192,000 school supplies.

But that’s not where their contribution ends. Hundreds of American Express volunteers spend days at The Salvation Army warehouse, counting, sorting, and palletizing supplies to be sent off to Valley schools. All of this happens in July, when temperatures can soar above 110 degrees.

On August 16, American Express volunteers gathered at a local school to distribute supplies directly to the kids who need them. Months of hard work were rewarded by wide smiles and heartfelt thanks from both teachers and students.

Thank you American Express! Because of your generosity, thousands of students have what they need to be successful.

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