CES Cares Spreads Extra Love this Valentine’s Day

CES Cares, the social impact program of City Electric Supply, plans to stuff 150 school backpacks during the month of love for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC).

“CES Cares has such a big heart for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, not only during this season of love, but all year long,” said DCAC CEO Lynn Davis. “Throughout the year, CES Cares stuffs 1,500 backpacks that are then distributed to children at DCAC who have experienced severe abuse. Each August, CES Cares helps make sure kids who have survived abuse go back to school with everything they need.”

The 1,500 backpacks would not be a feasible number without a little help from everyone. That’s why CES Cares Social Impact Manager Karen Gray hosts a backpack drive during City Electric Supply orientation, which occurs once a month at the CES headquarters in Dallas, Texas. On the final day of the 2-day event, CES Cares encourages attendees to help stuff the bags with school supplies. They’re asked to grab a backpack, put supplies inside, and then walk over to the next table to write an encouraging note to the kid who will be receiving it. The backpacks go to children who have been exposed to violence. Once the boxes are stuffed, DCAC sends a truck to pick up the boxes and store them in a facility until August.

Since 2016, CES has committed to providing DCAC with 1500 backpacks a year. The bags are stuffed with school supplies and distributed in August during the Back to School Drive event the non-profit hosts. The children walk into a room full of backpacks and get to choose the one they want.

CES Accounting Clerk Alexander Pesante attended CES orientation and his own passion for this project was inspiring. For kids who experience personal and family trauma, the normalcy a backpack and school day can bring to their lives is immeasurable.

“I decided that I would not leave until every backpack was packed so the kids could be ready for school,” said Pesante. “It was something that was so easy to do, yet it gave me the chance to help make a real difference in these kids’ lives. It was a great feeling, it’s hard to describe.”

DCAC sends CES Cares a list of how many backpacks are needed per grade level. Gray divides the list out into 12 months and sets a monthly goal to successfully reach 1500 total backpacks by August — which ends up ranging from 100 to 150 backpacks a month.

“It’s a great way to give employees the opportunity to participate,” said Gray. “They’re always very grateful and excited to help. And it’s always amazing to see the looks on the children’s faces as they pick out their backpacks. The few minutes each CES employee dedicates throughout the year makes such a big difference in these young children’s lives. Kids who’ve already endured so much. They’re always thankful.”

The professionals at DCAC are equipped to provide investigative and healing services to the children, but according to Davis, they can’t do it alone.

“We hope other businesses are inspired by the example of CES Cares and want to get involved, too,” said Davis.

ABOUT BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE: The Back to School Drive serves 1,500 kids with backpacks, school supplies, and two school uniforms. Last year, PWC and Dallas Stars Foundation participated at the event – there were about 40 volunteers total. School-age children receive the services and their siblings receive the items, and then when new child abuse cases come in during the year, if there is a need for backpacks, school supplies, etc., then DCAC ensures that those kiddos get what they need, too.

ABOUT CES CARES: CES Cares was created to serve as the arm for all the philanthropic, charitable and volunteer efforts in which CES employees participate. Since it started in 2016, CES Cares has made over $10 Million in charitable donations. The program is dedicated to giving back to the North Texas Community, where CES is headquartered.

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