Surry County Schools benefit from Hamptonville firm backpack drive

David Broyles Staff Reporter

August 17, 2013

DOBSON — The Surry County Schools Educational Foundation will be able to help 76 local students with school supplies this year thanks to the efforts of Lydall Thermal Accoustical.

According to Foundation Liaison Melissa White, a collection effort by employees asking for donations of money or school supplies, which were later matched by the corporation, collected enough to fill 76 backpacks for children from Franklin, Copeland and Flat Rock elementary schools. Additionally, supplies were collected for teachers in the three schools.

White explained that each backpack was stuffed with all the supplies students in grades K-5 at the schools would need to begin the year. She said it was her impression this was a first time such an effort was held at the company.

“This is also a first for Lydall as a new business partner with the foundation,” said White. “Their Human Resources department reached out to our Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Charles Graham about doing something to help out. They reached out to schools in Yadkin, Wilkes and Iredell counties to see where the greatest need was.”

She said the company asked for supply lists from schools with the greatest needs in the districts in mid-July. The employees next voted and decided on which schools to adopt. A total of 25 backpacks also went to West Yadkin Elementary.

“The Lydall employees were so full of energy about this project and they were so well organized,” White said. “They put everything they had collected and assembled on those school supply lists in the backpacks. They obviously loved to be helping children in need. They were so happy and full of smiles. Each backpack was labeled the school it would be delivered to and loaded into one of our school buses for easy distribution.”

White said the backpacks will be given to students by the schools as needed. She said Lydall employees lined up outside of the plant in Hamptonville on Thursday, each one carrying a backpack to be loaded on the bus, only to hurry back and get the next pack.

“They had a really good time,” said White. “One gentleman really made a show out of carrying a little girl’s backpack through the line before placing it on the bus.”

She praised the efforts of Lydall Senior Vice President and General Manager Joe Abbruzzi’s efforts supporting the campaign and said the firm also is planning a two month canned food drive in September.

“This has allowed the foundation to once again fulfill another part of its mission to provide educational opportunities for children,” said White. “It is also wonderful for us to gain a new business partner because that brings unlimited possibilities.”

The establishment of the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation began in January 2011. The Educational Foundation was created by a group of local business leaders who supported investing in children’s education positively impact the future of Surry County’s economy.

The Surry County Schools Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3)organization whose mission is to improve the educational level of the county by furthering education for competition in the global market. Persons may obtain more information by visiting the website or by calling 386-8211.

Reach David Broyles at or 719-1952.