Bartell Drugs kicks off seasonal promotion by giving back

As thousands of students geared up to head back to school, hundreds of Bartell Drugs employees and customers around Western Washington ramped up their efforts to give many of them the tools they need to succeed.

On August 1, Bartell’s kicked off the month-long School Tools for Kids in Need fundraising and supplies drive, in partnership with Seattle-area radio station Star 101.5. The event benefits World Vision’s efforts to equip American students and teachers in low-income areas.

Throughout August, customers donate cash or supplies at the checkstand or make a text-to-give donation. The proceeds provide supplies including notebooks, paper, pens and pencils, scissors, markers and crayons, and basic hygiene items.

World Vision is Bartell Drugs’ largest local charity partner, and the School Tools for Kids in Need event is one of World Vision’s longest-running annual corporate partnership events.

“Bartell Drugs’ mission is to provide the services and products to ensure the health and well-being of our community,” says Ric Brewer, a senior communications manager at Bartell’s. “There is perhaps no better illustration of how this is accomplished than by the School Tools for Kids program.”

While some stores have stronger community participation, incentives help keep employees motivated to make the most of their fundraising efforts. In 2016, the store that brings in the most cash donations gets to count all cash garnered in its respective district toward its overall sales goal. The store that provides the most product donations will get a gift basket filled with prizes for each employee.

“Employees are very happy and willing to participate and achieve the goals because they know how important the cause is,” Ric says. “At corporate, we know that August is School Tools month and we have a pretty clear pathway to get it up and functioning each year. It’s like Christmas time every August …”

This year, Bartell’s and World Vision introduced the text-to-give option to make it easier for people to respond.

“Technology is changing how everyone does charitable giving,” Ric says. “We just wanted to make it as easy as possible with really no restraints.”

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