Bell Aliant's Backpacks for Kids Program delivers over 4,400 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need - just in time for back-to-school

Sep 08, 2011, 08:00 ET from BELL ALIANT INC.

Bell Aliant employees and Pioneer Volunteers have filled close to 20,000 backpacks since 2003

To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/bell-aliant/backpacks-for-kids

HALIFAX, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Over 4,400 backpacks filled with school supplies have been delivered to children in need through 200 schools and organizations all across the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario and Quebec as part of Bell Aliant's Backpacks for Kids Program this year.

Currently in its 9th year, Backpacks for Kids is an annual program aimed at making back-to-school easier for children in need. Bell Aliant purchases the backpacks, and employees and Pioneer Volunteers fill them with school supplies and distribute to school and community based organizations across six provinces. Each backpack is valued at approximately $50.

"This initiative has been tremendously successful thanks to the commitment of our employees and Pioneer volunteers," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO, Bell Aliant. "This year, to complement their efforts and make a great program even stronger, we invited our customers, partners, vendors and the general public to donate to the program through a social media campaign. We collected over $18,500 in donations resulting in the largest backpacks contribution since our program began in 2003. It's thanks to these collective efforts that children across our communities will have the tools they need to kick-off a successful school year."

"Thank you so much Bell Aliant for providing our students with backpacks each year. A number of our students come to school in September with nothing, the financial burden of back to school shopping is too great for our families. Backpacks for Kids relieves that financial strain for parents and ensures that all our students have what they need to have a great year." Centennial School, Saint John, NB.

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 fibre-to-the-home (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 of customer service, choice and convenience.

SOURCE BELL ALIANT INC.

Image with caption: "President and CEO, Karen Sheriff accepts her adopted backpacks from Backpacks for Kids volunteer and employee, David Lennard. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2934.jpg

Image with caption: "Alain Cloutier (left), Johanne Forcier (middle) and Danielle Pilote (right), Bell Aliant employees, prepare backpacks, which will be distributed throughout Quebec. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2938.jpg

Image with caption: "Ron Nicholson, employee and Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteer, collected Nova Scotia backpacks as part of his role as a Backpacks for Kids volunteer. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2932.jpg

Image with caption: "New Brunswick Bell Aliant employee Jocelyn McAdam adopts her backpack. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2928.jpg

Image with caption: "Bruce Howatt (left), vice president - PEI, Bell Aliant, joined Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Doug Currie (center) and 1st Vice President, Acadia Chapter, of the Bell Aliant Pioneers Anne Marie Ellis (right), to celebrate the successful Backpack for Kids program with Donovan Ching, (center-left), and Lindsay Ching, (center-right) children of Scott Ching, an employee of Bell Aliant. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2936.jpg

Image with caption: "Bell Aliant employees in Newfoundland and Labrador Wendy Walsh (left) and Brenda Noseworthy (right) on their way to deliver a truck full of backpacks for kids. (CNW Group/BELL ALIANT INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2930.jpg

Video with caption: "Video: Backpacks CEO message ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20110908_C9181_VIDEO_EN_2940.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2940.jpg&clientName=BELL%20ALIANT%20INC%2E&caption=Video%3A%20Backpacks%20CEO%20message%0D%0A%0D%0A&title=Video%3A%20Backpacks%20CEO%20message

Video with caption: "Video: Message from employee Heather May ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20110908_C9181_VIDEO_EN_2942.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20110908_C9181_PHOTO_EN_2942.jpg&clientName=BELL%20ALIANT%20INC%2E&caption=Video%3A%20Message%20from%20employee%20Heather%20May%0D%0A%0D%0A&title=Video%3A%20Message%20from%20employee%20Heather%20May