Big Y Education Express program distributes $800,000 in supplies
SPRINGFIELD – Through Education Express, customers helped to inspire a child with every purchase they made at Big Y World Class Market stores. Nearly $800,000 in free educational materials was awarded to more than 2,000 schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut, proving that big results can happen when we all work together for a good cause.
Free educational supplies distributed to local schools include: 2,236 playground balls, 975 books, 372 calculators, 97 digital cameras, 59 computer tablets, 579 musical instruments, 1,313 packs of crayons, 2,523 reams of copier paper and 27,128 pencils. Since its inception in 1993, the Big Y Education Express Program has awarded close to $14 million in free supplies and equipment to local schools.
“At Big Y, we believe it is important to support our communities and the education of our children,” Donald D’Amour, Big Y chairman and CEO, said. “The Education Express Program helps our local schools supplement their tight budgets and get items for the arts, technology and even necessities like paper and pencils. It’s just one way we are able to give back and help our future generation receive the essential tools they need for the best education possible.”
Community support was the key ingredient to the success of Education Express and the program was a win, win for customers. Customers purchased money-saving products designated throughout the stores by specially designed school bus logo shelf tags to earn valuable merchandise points for the school of their choice. Schools then redeemed those points for free educational supplies such as computers, art supplies, musical instruments and sports equipment. The program was free to Big Y customers, and shoppers could track their donated point totals on their register receipt and through a Facebook app. The program was completely electronic and points were tallied on their Express Savings Club or Silver Savings Club cards, eliminating the need to save, collect or count cash register receipts as is required with similar programs.
In addition to the Education Express Program, Big Y has the Big Y Scholarship Program, which awards 300 scholarships worth $250,000 annually to academically outstanding students in their market area. A company strongly committed to giving back to the communities surrounding its stores, Big Y also donates food valued at more than $4.5 million to local nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and educational programs each year.