FirstEnergy Employees Team Up to Donate Hundreds of Backpacks, School Supplies to Akron Youth

stuff the bus volunteers
stuff the bus volunteers
stuff the bus volunteers

Surrounded by more than 600 backpacks filled with school supplies like pencils, notebooks, folders and markers, FirstEnergy employee Rachel Greer sighed a breath of relief and smiled.

“We did it!” she said to a team of FirstEnergy peers who volunteered their time to stuff backpacks that were recently donated to nearly 610 students within Ohio’s Akron Public Schools through the United Way’s “Stuff the Bus” initiative.

Greer, a business analyst in the company’s compliance and development department, has a heart for serving the community. That’s why she spearheaded this year’s Stuff the Bus effort for FirstEnergy, which included a virtual school supply donation drive that allowed FirstEnergy employees to purchase or fund items included in the backpacks for students at Rimer, Helen Arnold and McEbright elementary schools.

“We’ve participated in the Stuff the Bus initiative for many years, and it’s something our employees look forward to each summer to help set our local youth up for a successful school year,” said Greer. “While the pandemic has changed the way we typically collect school supplies and distribute backpacks, it hasn’t kept us from serving our local community over the past two school years because we’ve been able to adapt and find new solutions while our employees continue to work from home.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, large collection bins were placed at FirstEnergy offices for several weeks before the start of a school year so employees could drop off their donated school supplies on their way in or out the building. This year, employees were able to donate money through a PayPal account set up for this initiative or purchase school supplies from an online registry.

“I’m proud of our FirstEnergy employees who continue to support our youth during a time that has brought unprecedented challenges to many families in our area,” said Lorna Wisham, vice president of corporate affairs and community involvement at FirstEnergy. “We hope this makes things just a bit easier for Akron families as their children begin the new school year.”

Last year, FirstEnergy donated school supplies to nearly 11,400 Akron Public School students in kindergarten through sixth grades. Backpacks pre-packed with school supply items were available to all students who attend the district’s 41 elementary schools during a drive-through event at North and Kenmore-Garfield High schools. This event filled a gap created when the pandemic caused the cancellation of the area’s annual Stuff the Bus program presented by the United Way of Summit and Medina.

To learn more about FirstEnergy’s community involvement initiatives, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Siburkis, (330) 203-8850

Last Modified: September 16, 2021