Henry Schein Inc, Melville, NY, hosted the 12th annual Henry Schein Back to School program to help prepare more than 2,000 underserved children in 18 North American cities for the new school year. Henry Schein presented the children with specially selected new outfits and backpacks filled with books and school supplies. The backpacks also contained hand sanitizers and hygiene products to help children prepare for the 2009 flu season.

This annual initiative is a flagship program of Henry Schein Cares, the Company’s global social responsibility program. The largest of the 18 events, in Melville, NY, hosted more than 500 children at the Company’s World Headquarters.

"Our annual Back to School program is special to all of Team Schein because it is a way for us to directly help less fortunate children in our communities in a meaningful way," said Gerald A. Benjamin, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Henry Schein, in a statement about the program.

"Team Schein Members use their own time and money to select items from a sponsored child’s wish list, and we have the great privilege of seeing the children’s eyes light up when they receive their back to school packages at the celebration and distribution event that we host for the children and their families. This initiative is fundamental to the special culture of giving that we have nurtured at Henry Schein, and we are delighted to have seen it expand in scope year after year,” added Benjamin.

"Particularly during today’s economic challenges, Henry Schein’s Back to School program provides wonderful benefits to less privileged children," said Susan Marshall, founder of MPowering Kids, a partner of the initiative. "Starting the school year with new school supplies and fashionable clothing allows the students to focus their full attention on the important lessons they will learn during the year."

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