We did it!
Thanks to the generosity of more than 23,000 employees, Spectrum Health appears to have broken the Guinness World Record for the Longest Line of Backpacks.
The feat was accomplished by wrapping 3,318 donated backpacks around the Spectrum Health Medical Center in downtown Grand Rapids on Sept. 11.
This event easily surpassed the current world record of 2,710 backpacks held by Schools on Wheels at Pepperdine University.
The Spectrum Health United Way campaign team will now submit photos and videos as evidence to the officials at Guinness World Records and await official confirmation of its success.
While Spectrum Health celebrates this accomplishment, children throughout the state will cheer the arrival of new school backpacks. Since the backpacks were donated from employees at Spectrum Health and Priority Health facilities throughout the state, they are being returned back to those same communities for distribution to children.
Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal accepted 2,800 backpacks on behalf of her students this week.
Nicole McConnell, Spectrum Health’s vice president of human resources, and Kim Suarez, Priority Health’s vice president of medical operations, helped in distributing the backpacks at a special lunchtime ceremony at Alger Middle School.
“Isn’t it exciting? We are part of breaking a world record!” Weatherall Neal said to an audience of Alger students. “People in this community truly care for our students.”
The superintendent encouraged the students to use their new backpacks as a reminder that they should “look for a chance to show the people who are giving to you that you can give back by doing your best in school.”
More backpacks are headed to Big Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Schools Westwood Middle School, Southfield Public Schools, Fremont Public Schools, Ludington Area Schools, Reed City Area Public Schools, Greenville Public Schools and Zeeland Public Schools.