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Press release from CNW Group

Bell Aliant fills more than 10,000 backpacks for kids in need - just in time for school

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bell Aliant fills more than 10,000 backpacks for kids in need - just in time for school

12:11 EDT Friday, August 30, 2013


  • Company and employees deliver more than 10,000 new backpacks full of essential school supplies to kids in six provinces - 25 per cent increase year over year
  • Program addresses low-income family needs through 400 school and community-based organizations

HALIFAX, Aug. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - More than 10,000 children in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario will head back to school carrying backpacks filled with school supplies, thanks to the Bell Aliant Backpacks for Kids program. The company purchases empty backpacks which employees and Bell Aliant Pioneers adopt and fill with supplies. Bell Aliant partners with community groups to distribute the backpacks to kids through 400 schools and other community organizations.

One in seven Canadian children lives in poverty. The Backpacks for Kids program helps children at an important time of year when many families struggle to afford back-to-school supplies on top of daily necessities and other costs of living. In markets served by Bell Aliant there are about 65,000 elementary school aged children in need.

"We know the need is great. Teachers tell us kids who start school with the right supplies, are more confident and have a better chance at success all year long," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO of Bell Aliant. "Knowing every additional backpack we fill helps one more child is a powerful motivator; it inspired our employees and retirees to outperform and fill more and more backpacks every year since 2003. I am so proud of their dedication and determination to overachieve and make a meaningful difference in our communities."

Bell Aliant's Backpacks for Kids program is grounded in the belief when many people contribute, they have the power to accomplish something greater than on their own. Since 2003, Bell Aliant has purchased and delivered almost 28,000 backpacks. Last year alone, nearly 8,000 children benefitted from the program. Each backpack is valued at approximately $50, with a total value of $500,000 for 2013. This year, the program received significant support from suppliers, customers and online contributions.

Bell Aliant works closely with partner community organizations and elementary schools including Saint John's Centennial School, Moncton Headstart, the Fredericton Food Bank in New Brunswick; Single Parent's Association and Native Friendship Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador; the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island; Centre de Bénévolat de Val-d'Or, Quebec; Children's Aid in Ontario; and Feed Nova Scotia.

About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with FTTH technology with its FibreOP services. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality customer service, choice and convenience.






Image with caption: "Backpacks for Kids is in its 11th year and an employee-driven program (St. John's, NL). (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant delivers 500 backpacks for kids to FEED NOVA SCOTIA (Halifax, NS) (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant Pioneer Lois Oldfield and Nancy Boucher of the Anglophone North School District (Miramichi, NB). (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant summer students, Curtis Muise and Patrick McIntyre, delivering backpacks to Salvation Army (Summerside, PEI). (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant Backpacks for Kids community partner, Centre Jeunesse Chicoutimi. (Chicoutimi, QC) (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "A big thank you from the North Bay Big Brothers & Big Sisters (North Bay, ON). (CNW Group/Bell Aliant Inc.)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Bell Aliant Inc.

For further information:

Christine Manore
Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs
(888) 845-3171

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