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Preparing Students for Back-to-School Success

Kaiser Permanente employees fill hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for children in underserved areas

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Wearing colorful superhero masks, 150 Kaiser Permanente employees eagerly participated in the 8th annual back-to-school drive event to help make underserved children’s new school year a little brighter.

The employees took time out of their busy day on July 30 to help stuff 600 camouflage backpacks with essential supplies such as notebooks, crayons, rulers, highlighters, pens, and more at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California headquarters in Pasadena. The backpack items even included notecards with inspirational messages handwritten by employees such as “Keep up the good work – you got this,” “Be kind,” and “Never give up.” 

Funded by Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Finance Group, the backpacks will be donated to children and their families at El Nido Family Centers in Pacoima and South Los Angeles in early August.

George DiSalvo, chief financial officer, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, thanked the employees for contributing their time and effort to such a great cause. “It’s inspiring to see the children’s faces light up when they receive the backpacks,” DiSalvo said. “They’re so appreciative.”

The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to empower families in low-income communities, also received a $15,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center to support El Nido’s Teen Parent Family Services program. This funding will help increase access to health care, wellness education, health promotion, and disease prevention for disadvantaged pregnant/parenting teens and their babies in the San Fernando Valley.

“It’s a great feeling to be part of an organization that gives so much back to the community,” said Helen Serimian, director, Patient Finance and Accounting, Medicaid, Kaiser Permanente Southern California.