Lightbridge Academy, a leading early education and child care franchise system with almost 30 locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic is reaching across the country to support the children and families in Texas and Florida. The Lightbridge Foundation has donated over 2,000 “I Care” backpacks to be filled by Lightbridge Academy center staff, parents and children. The backpacks will be filled with school supplies, comfort and care items with encouraging letters and pictures from Lightbridge Academy students. In addition to those involved with the centers collecting school supplies, Lightbridge Academy is also calling upon its local communities for anyone interested to pick up a backpack and fill it. All of the “I Care” donations will then be transported down to Texas and Florida.
In 2001, Lightbridge Academy created the Lightbridge Foundation to support the parents and children in each center’s community. The foundation is a natural extension of the company’s Circle of Care philosophy, which places equal weight on caring for the needs of everyone in a child’s life, including parents, teachers, center owners and local communities.
“As a company that cares and leads by example, our hearts moved our feet into action,” said Gigi Schweikert, President and COO of Lightbridge Academy. “Each staff member and family is challenged to take a backpack and bring it back filled with items to bring comfort and care to the children of Houston and South Florida areas. Children enrolled in our center will also be drawing pictures and writing letters of encouragement and support to be included in the backpacks. ”
Since Lightbridge Foundation’s inception 16 years ago, it has given more than $420,000 to children and families in need. For example, the foundation has given direct grants to assist parents in covering expenses for a wide range of challenges, including treatment of pediatric illnesses, necessary therapy and recovery assistance after natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy.
The destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit close to home for the New Jersey-based brand as the entire system and company’s Circle of Care experienced the devastation of Superstorm Sandy together. For the first time, the foundation is taking its efforts outside of its core markets of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and helping families in need in the affected areas.
“We remember what it was like for the many staff, children and families affected by Superstorm Sandy, and the recovery process is truly long and hard. So it is heartbreaking to see children and families dealing with the aftermath of these natural disasters,” said Schweikert. “When Lightbridge Foundation was created, it was done so with the mindset to help give back not only to communities, but also those individual children and families needing extra support. Although these hurricanes have been devastating, the experience allows our young students to learn empathy and kindness by supporting other children in their time of need through pictures and letters.”