On November 11, 2016, BIC employees throughout the U.S. honored past and current U.S. Military Service members through a variety of activities as part of the company’s Veterans Day celebration.

“It is important that we recognize and honor our nation’s veterans and our employees who served our country,” said Kristie Raines, Director, Human Resources. “We wanted to make sure that all of our employees had the opportunity to express their thanks in fun, heartfelt ways.”

BIC employees across the U.S. expressed their gratitude and support by wearing a red, white and blue ribbon or an American flag sticker during the day and were given the opportunity to handwrite a thank you note for service members. For every card that was written, BIC made a $5 donation to the USO for a total contribution of $1,255. Additionally, a “Wall of Thanks” was created in Charlotte, N.C. where employees could identify themselves as a veteran and were invited to bring in photos and share the names of family members who have served so that they could be recognized.

BIC has been a long-time supporter of the USO, and since 2011 has donated more than $1M. BIC offers a USO series of pocket lighters and donates $0.09 per lighter sold, with a minimum donation of $200,000 from 01-JAN-2015 through 31-DEC-2016. BIC will continue its support of the USO for the next two years as well.

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to nearly 66,000 disasters, the majority of which are home fires. The organization now runs a Home Fire Campaign to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires in the U.S. by 25% by 2020.

Recognizing that a working smoke alarm can double a person’s chances of surviving a home fire, the Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in homes across the country in neighborhoods that are high-risk for fires. Since the initiative launched in 2014, the Red Cross and has installed more than 570,000 alarms, making hundreds of thousands of homes and families safer – and even saving 111 lives.

In December 2016, the BIC team spent the day with the American Red Cross and Stamford Fire Department installing smoke alarms in homes in Stamford, Conn. and educating families about home fire safety. The residents were guided through fire prevention and emergency procedures, which included creating a two-minute home fire escape plan and identifying fire hazards around their own home. The team also had the opportunity to tour a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle which is stocked with supplies and deployed during natural or man-made disaster.

“The Red Cross is helping families prepare for and prevent home fires and it was a privilege to participate first-hand in such a meaningful and life-saving event,” said Laura Bellows, Corporate Communications & Community Relations Coordinator at BIC.

Learn more about protecting your home and your family from fire here.
Members of the BIC team in Arkansas recently participated in Trick or Suite 2016, a fundraising event that provides the trick-or-treat experience for approximately 700 local children who are either victims of abuse or have physical and/or learning disabilities that prevent them from participating in traditional trick or treating. The evening also served as a fundraiser for the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County. This is the second year that the BIC team has participated in this worthwhile event.

Trick or Suite is hosted by Embassy Suites and is supported by Walmart, Sam’s Club and several other vendors, including BIC. There were approximately 25 suites taken over by participating companies, which were each decorated with a specific theme.

The BIC suite was themed ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ and was a success thanks to the participation from many on the BIC Team. The children that came to the BIC suite played interactive games - even the children with the most severe disabilities were able to participate and take away some BIC mechanical pencils and Ninja Turtle trinkets.
This Back-to-School season, BIC was excited to partner with Kristen Chase, parenting expert, and CEO of Cool Mom Picks.

Kristen generated excitement about BIC’s fun new products with consumers through several national media interviews where she emphasized BIC's mission to celebrate handwriting, directed viewers and listeners to learn more about BIC's Fight For Your Write mission and the BIC-sponsored Cool Mom Picks Back-to-School Guide, and highlighted BIC’s fun and colorful products like BIC® XTRA-Fun #2 Pencils with Stripes and BIC® Velocity® Side Clic™ Mechanical Pencil.
This year, BIC adopted five children from Irving Elementary School in Derby, Conn., as part of the Valley United Way Corporate Volunteer Council’s annual Back to School Clothes for Kids project. The project provides new clothing to low-income children at the start of the school year in an effort to improve attendance on the first days of school and to boost students’ self-esteem and confidence.

Irving School is a high-needs school with about 150 of its 332 K-5 students qualifying for this program. Every eligible child received a bin containing two complete outfits, a pair of sneakers and socks, a coat, underwear, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a backpack full of school supplies. In addition, BIC donated 150 backpacks filled with supplies and two pallets of stationery products for all students and teachers to use throughout the year.

Members of the BIC team Janice Majoros, Bonnie Jones, Bill Hoagland and Laura Bellows presented the children sponsored by BIC and their families with their bins.

The CVC is a coalition of more than 50 Valley businesses that provides resources for large community impact projects. Since it began in 1996, the Back to School Clothes for Kids program has supported nearly 3,000 children and invested $604,940 in Valley youth. BIC has participated in the program since 2009.