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Last call for donations to OP Staff Assembly backpack project

Office Depot was selling pencil sharpeners for a penny each, limit three to a customer. But Dora Mairena of RGPO talked store managers on two separate visits into letting her buy 25 at one pop. At WalMart she found rulers for a quarter and at Kmart crayons for a quarter a pack.

Mairena’s bargain hunting was only one of the skills that enabled her and the “Kaiser 6” team—including Kris Lange, Maura McLoughlin, Lorri Smith, Adam Chen-Ok and Rowena Wong—to put together 35 “fully loaded” backpacks for OP’s Project Fill a Backpack to support Frick School this fall.

“We had used email and decorated the donation box table but never got anything donated,” Mairena said. “That’s when Kris jumped in and started getting everyone pumped up about the project.”

They divided Kaiser’s sixth floor into east and west wings and created a Backpack Challenge between HR/BP&S and RGPO for who could meet their goal first. Members of the Kaiser 6 team went cubicle to cubicle, collecting cash and supplies, making periodic updates and cheerleading. In the end, both groups met their goals within a day of one another.

backpack project progress themometer

This is the project’s final week. Organizers are still seeking 1- or 1.5-inch binders and cash donations to meet their UCOP-wide goal of 150 complete backpacks and have all materials in hand this week.

Please bring any last-minute donations of supplies to Aleta Martinez at 11321A Franklin St. and cash donations (by check, payable to OP Staff Assembly) to Gemma Rieser at 9312G Franklin St. by Wednesday, Aug. 3.

You can also help by coming to Franklin’s Lobby One Conference Room on Friday, Aug. 5, 2 to 5:30 p.m., to help assemble the packs, which will be delivered to Frick mid-month.

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