Valley schoolchildren living in 21 apartment buildings owned by Western Wealth Capital (WWC) received free backpacks and school supplies as part of the company’s annual “We’ve Got Your Back” celebration. The 6th annual event, hosted by WWC throughout the week of July 26 at the company’s properties, included petting zoos, water slides and pizza.

“It’s really part of our company’s foundation is to make backpacks available to every child. We hope this allows them to walk into school with confidence, and if they’re confident, they’re more open to learning,” says Janet LePage, CEO of WWC.

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The company donated $200,000 worth of backpacks and much-needed supplies, including pens, notebooks and art supplies, since the event’s inception in 2016. The money came from WWC and its affiliated partners: brokers, flooring contractors, insurance companies — anyone who interacts with the apartment communities.

“It’s been a hard year for everyone, including children and parents. We’re saving parents the time of having to go to the store, but also there’s a significant cost to these supplies. If you’re living on a tighter budget, that’s a huge relief. It’s something that we can take off the minds of our residents, and it’s our way of saying thanks for choosing our community,” LePage notes.

At the event hosted at the Sierra Pines apartment complex, Sugey Ostergaard, director of property accounting for Western Wealth Capital, was tasked with helping each child choose a backpack to take home. “Their faces light up when they get to pick their backpack. With everything that’s happened with COVID, I think kids are ready and excited to get back to schools. By providing supplies so they’re well prepared to learn, I think we’re investing a little bit into their future,” she says.

LePage believes the longevity and success of the campaign is a result of genuine connection to the cause. “When you’re looking for a program or a cause to help, it needs to be attached at the heart and financially feasible in the long term. People in the company say this is one of the single best days of the year. Being able to connect to a place where you work and spend most of your time at while doing something that makes a tangible difference creates that sustainable cycle,” LePage continues.