AT&T volunteer, legislators deliver backpacks with supplies to Baldwin students

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Christopher Buber and Lillyana Allen were excited to recieve new backpacks and school supplies. Pictured left to right are: Rep John Bumstead, Supervisor Stiles Simmons, Christopher Buber, Lillyana Allen, and Senator Darwin Booher. (Lake County Star photo/Shanna Avery)

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Christopher Buber and Lillyana Allen were excited to recieve new backpacks and school supplies. Pictured left to right are: Rep John Bumstead, Supervisor Stiles Simmons, Christopher Buber, Lillyana Allen, and Senator Darwin Booher. (Lake County Star photo/Shanna Avery)

BALDWIN — On Monday, Sept. 26, Ruth Gaudard, employee volunteer from AT&T Michigan Pioneers, came to Baldwin Community Schools with a trunk load of new backpacks packed with school supplies ready to be distributed to 40 Baldwin Elementary School students. 

State Rep. John Bumstead and State Sen. Darwin Booher were on hand to help haul the backpacks into the school, as was Cher Robinson, administrative assistant at BCS.

Christopher Buber and Lillyana Allen, both kindergarteners, were the first to be presented the backpacks.

“These nice people brought you a backpack,” Robinson said to Buber. “His face lit up as he chose a black backpack.”

“Awesome!” he said excitedly. 

Allen happily picked out a pink backpack. 

Gaudard explained AT&T and AT&T Pioneers paid for all of the supplies through dues and donations.

“My department packed over 2,600 to distribute through the state. I have been on the road to deliver backpacks every day this week,” she said. “I cover the west and southwest part of the state.”

Legislatures chose which school districts would receive backpacks, she said. 

“The legislators make sure these backpacks and supplies go to rural areas and smaller communities where we can make an impact, because they don’t have the resources the bigger cities have,” Gaudard said.

Booher and Bumstead seemed to get as much out of the experience as the children receiving the backpacks.

“This is such a terrific program,” Booher said.

For Gaudard, this truly is a mission she cares deeply about.

“We love doing this. Some kids may remember it and when they get older they might be able to pay it forward,” she said. “We need to make sure kids have what they can to be successful in school. It provides a better frame of mind and might help them to be more open to learning. AT&T takes education very seriously.”

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