Tina Manjaly, acting general manager at the Lloydminster Staples says customer response to this year’s School Supply Drive is expected to raise more than $8,000 for Big Brothers, Big Sisters that distributes customer donated cash and supplies to needy school children. The store also has a drop off bin for donations of pencils, crayons and paper. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
Customers of the Lloydminster Staples store are expected to go gaga this summer to support the company’s annual School Supply Drive.
The local outlet raised more than $2,100 towards its $8,000 target in the first week of the back-to-school fundraising program, which runs from July 31 to Sept. 12.
Helping the cause is Lady Gaga as a corporate pitch woman.
On a YouTube video, the superstar American singer, playing the role of a substitute teacher, says not having materials in schools is a real problem.
She explains she has teamed up with Staples so no child is put in a deficit learning position without the supplies they need to achieve their dreams.
Tina Manjaly, acting general manager of the Lloydminster Staples, knows first hand that school supplies are costly when budgets are tight.
“I’ve gone through all that and I’ve been a single mother, so I know how much it costs,” she said.
“It’s a tough economy right now.”
She said customers can help by adding a donation to their purchases in store and online at staples.ca or drop off purchased supplies like pencils, crayons and paper in a donation bin by the door.
“We’ll make sure that gets delivered to the right people,” said Manjaly, who noted the store has partnered with Lloydminster Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“All the money we raise will be going to them, and they will see to the distribution; it will all stay in Lloydminster for school supplies.”
Manjaly said Staples is a big believer in education, and the School Supply Drive, now in its 12 year, is the best way they can help youth succeed at school.
“Staples is big on that,” she said.
“We also help out with Special Olympics when they have their events, so these are two big corporate sponsorships that we do.”
Staples customers across Canada are expected to donate about $1.7 million for local non-profits through the School Supply Drive.
“When people can give, they do, and they are very generous, I’m very pleased,” said Manjaly about the customer response in Lloydminster.
She said Alberta as a whole is very generous.
“I lived in Cold Lake last year and they did over $10,000—I’m challenging Lloyd to do the same thing,” she said.
She also noted Staples will price match any retail competitor in the Border City.
“We’ll price match everywhere; we want our community back to school and educated, and we want to take care of everybody,” she said.
Manjaly describes the back-to-school retail season as a busy one for Staples.
“This is Christmas for Staples,” she said, noting the local store is usually stocked for school supplies in May before school ends and parents get their kids’ supply lists for the fall term.
She said sales of back-to-school supplies at the Lloydminster store have been steady since June, with crunch time starting last weekend and expected to go past the Labour Day weekend and into September.
“That’s go time for us,” she said.