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Back-to-school donations give boost to local communities in Boston, Austin

Two Delaware North locations reached out into their local communities over the past week to help children and families prepare for the upcoming school year.

book-bag-2TD Garden, owned and operated by Delaware North, last week hosted its 10th Annual Back-to-School Distribution, a charitable event held each year to donate school supplies and other items to students and organizations in Boston. The event, which is organized through Garden Neighborhood Charities, the philanthropic arm of TD Garden, took place this year in partnership with The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division and the city of Boston.

The Back-to-School Distribution, which usually takes place on the arena floor at TD Garden, was moved this year to The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center in Boston to allow for an outdoor, open-air distribution. Boston police and fire personnel volunteered at the event, which also included an onsite COVID-19 vaccination clinic led by The Dimock Center, a local healthcare provider.

Even in its new location, the Back-to-School Distribution delivered on its promise to provide 3,000 Boston-area students with a backpack full of school supplies (including notebooks, crayons, glue and highlighters), library books from Boston Public Library, hygiene products from Hope & Comfort, and new apparel from Hilco Global. The effort also included a $10,000 donation from Garden Neighborhood Charities to the Salvation Army for pandemic-related efforts during the upcoming year.

“The purpose is to make sure these kids are in a good place to go back to school and they have everything they need,” said Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden and chief growth officer for Delaware North. “There’s a [COVID-19] vaccination truck available, as well as hygiene [items] and winter coats. We’re really just trying to meet the needs of what the community is in need of and we’re happy to do it.”

Along with support from the Boston Bruins Foundation, Garden Neighborhood Charities has donated 40,000 backpacks and more than $425,000 since 2012. This donation reflects Garden Neighborhood Charities and its partners’ commitment to equip students with all they need to be successful this year and well into the future.

Watch a video recap of the Bruins’ event.

Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, Delaware North’s team at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport took part in in its own back-to-school supplies donation for a local elementary school. A collaboration between Delaware North and its joint-venture partners, along with the airport’s leadership, helped collect school supplies and other items to fill 70 backpacks that were delivered to Del Valle Independent Schools, which is less than 10 miles away from the airport.

“We always jump at the opportunity to help out and make a difference in our community,” said Terry Mahlum, general manager for Delaware North at the Austin airport. “This is an important and sometimes challenging time of the year for families who have kids going to school, and we hope this donation makes it a bit easier for our neighbors.”