For the last three summers, something magical has happened in the communities where Wireless Zone franchises operate.
The annual Wireless Zone’s Backpack Giveaway just keeps getting better every year, and the most recent event on July 21, 2019 was no exception: Franchisees of the Verizon Wireless retail brand gave out an estimated 70,000 backpacks to children all over the country. After all, school is just around the corner, and kids need backpacks and school supplies to hit the ground running toward academic success.
“Every year our Backpack Giveaway has gotten bigger as franchisees realize that the sky’s the limit,” said Brian Murtari, Chief Information Officer and President and Director of Wireless Zone’s Foundation for Giving, adding that last year’s event donated around 60,000 backpacks. “Throughout the whole year, our franchisees collect donations at their stores so that they can buy more backpacks and school supplies—and put on fun events.”
This year, events featured local food and craft vendors, face painting, bounce houses, fire trucks and even actors dressed as Disney princesses and The Avengers, just to name a few of the exciting attractions. Each community event is open to the public, and backpacks are available for any child in attendance.
“While many of the families who attend can’t afford to buy new school supplies, it ultimately doesn’t matter what their economic status is. It’s more about giving back to the entire community—any child who wants to start the year off with a new backpack can get one,” said Murtari. “Those families that can afford it often make donations as a part of getting one for their kids. The whole community comes together to chip in, and that’s wonderful.”
Wireless Zone makes it easy for franchisees to participate by offering online ordering options for backpacks that are prepacked with notebooks, folders, rulers, pencil boxes, pencils and glue sticks. Franchisees are also able to source backpacks and supplies on their own if they wish.
“Simply put, we are a franchise organization, so giving back to the communities in which we live and do business is the most important thing for us,” said Murtari. “That’s what we feel franchising is all about. When we have the opportunity to give back to the communities that support our stores, that’s what we do.”
The annual Backpack Giveaway is an integral part of day-to-day business at Wireless Zone franchises around the nation. “We had one owner who dedicated the profits of one day to go toward next year’s backpack program to make it bigger and better,” said Shelley Nemic, Retail Product and Planning Manager at Wireless Zone. “Customers who were just there to browse ended up purchasing accessories and other items. There was an outpouring of appreciation, and that was the best part.”
Wireless Zone’s annual Backpack Giveaway is planned in conjunction with partner company Culture of Good. Both brands are owned by Round Room LLC. In fact, this year’s giveaway across Round Room companies totaled more than 250,000 backpacks.
And the Backpack Giveaway is not Wireless Zone’s first foray into philanthropy. Founded in 2003, the Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving has also worked with organizations such as Feeding America, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Veterans Leadership Program and Center for Hospice Care. Most recently, the franchise fundraised with Autism Speaks.
“For Shelley and me, it’s all about tying together the Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving, Wireless Zone Gives Back and Culture of Good,” said Murtari. “These are all initiatives we are spearheading to show our communities how much we care about them and how appreciative we are to have their business.”
For more information on franchise opportunities with Wireless Zone, visit www.wirelesszone.com.