Prudential Donates Hundreds of Backpacks; They're Packed with Supplies for Foster Children Heading to School

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

The backpacks were in a mammoth-like pile on the carpeted floor of the Children's Home Society.

More backpacks, many in solid colors and some featuring the likes of Cinderella, Barbie, SpongeBob SquarePants and Spider-Man were stacked on tables lining a side of the room.

Caseworkers sifted through the trove - 576 in all - ensuring they were filled with grade-appropriate supplies for the foster children they supervise.

Prudential Financial and Prudential Network Realty employees donated the backpacks, which they filled with markers, ballpoint pens, crayons and other supplies, to the San Diego Road facility on the Southside last week.

"This is their favorite project because it tugs at the heart strings," said Pat Brzozowski, community affairs manager for Prudential Financial.

The backpacks, which are new, will help ensure that children in foster care won't be set apart from other students, she said.

Development specialist Nick Geinosky said the society appreciates the generosity of Prudential employees.

School supplies are expensive, he said, and it's a way for the community to help foster parents, as well as enhance the children's self-esteem so they're ready to learn. Indeed, donors are needed year-round to supply various items, Geinosky said.

The children are grateful for the backpacks as well and some even write thank-you notes. …