Company helps children return to school in style

Aug. 31, 2006
More than 4,400 children benefit from annual program designed to boost self-esteem in the classroom.

MELVILLE, New York--With fall fast approaching, children and parents throughout the United States and Canada are shopping for new school clothes and supplies as a prelude to returning to the classroom.

Henry Schein is helping less fortunate children return to school in style through its Back to School Program, now in its ninth year.

This year Schein, a large distributor of health-care products and services to office-based practitioners in the combined North American and European markets, is providing 1,307 children with backpacks filled with school supplies.

Team Schein members in Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada, are purchasing terrific new first-day outfits to make kids in their communities feel great when they step back into the classroom. The initiative is part of Henry Schein Cares, the company's global social responsibility program.

"Among our many Henry Schein activities, it is easy to see why our annual Back to School program is the favorite of Team Schein members," said Gerald Benjamin, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Offier for Henry Schein.

"The program includes our team's direct involvement--contributing their own money and free time to shop for the school necessities, filling the backpacks and distributing them to the children who are our neighbors. Team Schein members are able to immediately see the results of their efforts in the faces of children receiving the packages. It is a unique experience that enriches the lives of everyone involved."

Henry Schein's Back to School Program began in 1998 in Melville, where the company is headquartered. That year, the company furnished clothing and school supplies to 75 children, working with local service organizations to identify the recipients.

The Back to School Program has grown steadily since its introduction, and including this year's recipients, more than 4,400 children will have benefited from the initiative. Each sponsored child receives a stylish new back-to-school outfit, including shoes, socks, pants or skirts and undergarments. In addition, children receive a backpack filled with school supplies, hygiene products, and other items to make their first day of school happy, stress-free and enjoyable.

"Henry Schein's Back to School Program touches the lives of children in need at an important time in our lives," said Sharon Markman, Vice President for Development, Family Service League. "By helping to bridge the gap between less fortunate children and their classmates, this program allows them to concentrate their energy on achievement in the classroom, and develop a level of self-esteem that can help them avoid many potential problems as they grow older. In addition, it is good for them to see the encouragement of caring, involved people in their community."

In addition to donations by Team Schein members and contributions from the company, Henry Schein has inspired numerous other local businesses and Henry Schein vendors to provide valuable support for the 2006 Back to School Program.