The College of Business Administration (CBA) and the Bronco Bookstore have partnered up with Heart for Humanity to donate backpacks to help those in need within our local Pomona community.
Heart for Humanity is a community service organization that serves homeless and low-income families in Pomona. Founded by alumnus Benjamin Galarza (‘96, business administration) in 2013, the organization collects various donations — from food, clothing and school supplies — to aid those in need.
Although Cal Poly Pomona is one of the contributors to support the effort in tackling the poverty rate of Pomona, Heart for Humanity also has a few other partnerships with local businesses, two other schools and religious institutions.
“All we ask for are things that are lying around unused,” Galarza said. “We don’t want people to spend any more money than they have to. If they can donate used items that they no longer need, that’s plenty.”
Jeffrey Cox, director of development at the CBA, said the college has built a long-term relationship with Galarza, who has been a great supporter and donor for the CBA students.
Last summer during one of Galarza’s campus visits, he mentioned the work he was doing in Heart for Humanity to Cox and the CBA dean Erik Rolland, which received positive feedback.
“When you look around campus, you see a lot of people with backpacks, and I’m sure some are renewing them from time to time,” Cox said. “So when he mentioned the need for backpacks, I knew that we were a resource that can help.”
Since the beginning of the 2019 fall semester, the CBA and Heart for Humanity have been accepting old backpack donations from students, faculty and staff.
Galarza said backpacks are one of the highest demands for the homeless population.
He clarified that the organization will only accept old backpacks because the homeless may start to fight among themselves for new items; thus, this prevents the homeless from possibly getting assaulted. He hopes that he can later branch out to receiving clothing donations from the CPP community.
After making a backpack donation, Broncos can get a 15% discount when purchasing a new backpack from the Bronco Bookstore.
The discount is only applied when making the purchase during the donation process and cannot be redeemed at a later time.
According to Bronco Bookstore Director Clint Aase, 90% of all backpack purchases take place during the beginning of the fall or spring semesters.
With this in mind, the CBA believed it would be appropriate to reach out to the bookstore for assistance in accepting donations.
Since the last fall semester, Heart for Humanity received over 130 backpack donations from CPP. The CBA and Bronco Bookstore confirmed that the partnership is entirely voluntary and they do not receive compensation.
“CPP is such a big representation of Pomona, so it’s great to see students coming together and give back to the community,” said Monica Pignotti, marketing assistant at the CPP Foundation.
Donations are accepted all year round at the bookstore and the CBA dean’s office during regular business hours.
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