College volunteers pack bags for kids in need.

Students in the BBA Weekend program assembled 137 book bags for kids in a local shelter.

Hundreds of area kids started school this year with smiles on their faces thanks to new, well-filled packs on their backs, courtesy of three separate efforts by members of the College of Business Administration.

  • About fifty faculty and staff formed an assembly line to stuff backpacks with school supplies as part of the “Back to School Campaign,” sponsored by Kids Hope United. The recipients were all special needs kids in foster or relative homes.

“The response within the College was overwhelming, with people tapping their own, often-limited budgets, to buy packs and items,” said Natalia Echeverría, corporate relations manager in the Chapman Graduate School of Business, who put out the word about the event and helped deliver the bags to a distribution point.

  • The Miami Benefit Club took 140 book bags, many filled with school supplies for elementary students, to the Community Partnership for the Homeless, one of the core groups the Club supports. Before they were delivered, the bags were stored in the office of Randall Martin, instructor in the Department of Management and International Business, who has worked with the Club in the past and offered the project as an incentive in one of his courses.
  • Also, the 21 members of cohort seventeen of the BBA+ Weekend program at the Pines Center in Pembroke Pines raised about $2,000 from family, friends, and employees, then used the funds to buy packs and school supplies. Each BBA+ Weekend cohort does a community project of its choosing as part of the Business in Society course, taught by Robert Hogner, associate professor , Department of management and International Business and known to his students as “Dr. Bob.”

“Dr. Bob went with half the students to make the purchases,” said Jennifer Reid, office manager of the Pines Center and a member of the cohort. “The other half went to Broward County Central Homeless Assistance Center/Huizenga Family Campus to pack the bags.”

Their efforts netted 57 bags for high school students, 45 for middle school students, and 35 for elementary students.

As temporary shelters, both the Community Partnership for the Homeless and Broward County Central Homeless Assistance Center are holding many of the bags in reserve.

“The population is changing all the time,” Reid said. “By having a stockpile of packs, new kids who enter the facility during the year will have a pack waiting for them.”

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