Butzel donates nearly 400 backpacks full of school supplies to students at Oakman Elementary School

Appropriate school supplies can help ensure a successful school year for students.

But too many families cannot afford the school supplies they need to help their children succeed.

Students prepare to receive backpacks at Oakman Elementary. (Photo courtesy of Butzel)

For the past few years, the law firm Butzel has donated supplies to children in Detroit. This year, they’ve expanded that offer in Dearborn by donating nearly 400 backpacks with supplies to students at Oakman Elementary School in Dearborn.

The donation took place on the first day of school for the 2022-23 school year.

“Many primary school students come from low-income families,” said Paul Mersino, lawyer, shareholder and trustee of the Butzel Charitable Trust. “Too many students across the state come from homes considered below the poverty line. For many of these families, school supplies aren’t at the top of the list when trying to pay the bills and keep the lights on, let alone trying to put food on the table. Importantly, studies indicate that students who have the proper supplies they need for school get better grades and higher test scores.

Mersino said Butzel believes in the importance of giving back to the communities where they work.

A Butzel employee distributes a backpack during the donation drive.  (Photo courtesy of Butzel)
A Butzel employee distributes a backpack during the donation drive. (Photo courtesy of Butzel)

“Studies also indicate that when students have the supplies they need, their attendance improves, which also leads to better performance,” he said. “Equally important, by providing students with the materials they need for school, we can help parents and families make ends meet and ensure they don’t have to choose between buying school supplies and the purchase of food, clothing and other basic needs. Additionally, many teachers pay for supplies out of pocket, which also helps them. Our teachers have a very important job, and anything we can do to help them is an added benefit.

Mersino said the company was founded 168 years ago and has always done its best to give back to the region.

A student at Oakman Elementary School in Dearborn receives a backpack full of supplies.  (Photo courtesy of Butzel)
A student at Oakman Elementary School in Dearborn receives a backpack full of supplies. (Photo courtesy of Butzel)

This was the fifth year the company has partnered with the Kids in Need Foundation to donate backpacks.

“Butzel hopes to continue doing this every school year,” Mersino said.


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