Wize Solutions and United Way of Southwest Virginia Working Together

to Alleviate Hunger in Washington County through Backpacks Unite

(Abingdon, Va.) – October 24, 2019 – Wize Solutions, an IT services provider that creates sustainable employment opportunities in rural Virginia communities, and United Way of Southwest Virginia have partnered to provide food for children in Washington County as part of United Way’s Backpacks Unite program. Together, they will ensure that children receive enough easy-to-prepare food to keep them from going hungry over the weekends during the school year.

The partnership between Wize Solutions and United Way of Southwest Virginia was borne from the company’s participation in the nonprofit organization’s Ignite Internship program this summer. As the two entities realized they had similar missions of serving Washington County by creating opportunities for its citizens and providing support to those in need, the partnership strengthened.

“The core of our mission is to give back to the communities in which we serve,” said Wendy Marquez, co-founder and CEO of Wize Solutions. “Everyone at Wize Solutions is committed to providing transformational service both to our customers and to our community.”

According to David Maloney, senior systems engineer for Wize Solutions, “United Way of Southwest Virginia’s programs offer us a chance to do that through both funding to purchase food and through assembling the backpacks for children. We are honored to have the opportunity to serve Washington County through Backpack Unites.”

Almost 50 percent of students in Washington County, 3,565 of 7,139 students, are eligible for free or reduced lunches. The state average is 39.87 percent.

“We cannot thank Wize Solutions enough for partnering with us and for providing weekend meals for students in Washington County,” said United Way of Southwest Virginia president and CEO Travis Staton. “This partnership will ensure that children come to school ready to learn, enabling us to continue building a healthy, well-educated workforce of tomorrow.”

Wize Solutions offers cybersecurity, quality assurance, software development and testing, and cloud consulting management services to America’s top organizations. They achieve this by tapping into the talent available in rural Virginia and training those who want high-tech jobs but may not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue them.


Pictured in the photo from left to right: Mary Anne Holbrook and Kristy Worley, United Way of Southwest Virginia and David Maloney, Brian Twomey, Steath Daugherty, and Melinda Fairhurst with Wize Solutions

Photo credit: Keri Stegall

About United Way of Southwest Virginia
United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change.  With a footprint that covers nearly 20% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia programs and initiatives serve the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Norton, and Radford.

About Backpacks Unite

The purpose of Backpacks Unite is to ensure that students have adequate meals over the weekend, allowing them to come to school Monday ready to learn and ready to succeed. Research and anecdotal evidence tell us that children who come to school hungry are unable to concentrate in the classroom, missing out on valuable learning opportunities and gradually falling behind their well-fed counterparts. United Way’s provision of food is aimed at reducing the risk of hunger and the risk of our most vulnerable youth falling even further behind.

About Wize Solutions

Wize Solutions was forged from the desire to merge the company’s IT expertise with their commitment to give back to communities and the country. It’s what sets them apart from the rest. They provide exceptional IT services to commercial and government clients by creating employment opportunities in rural communities. As a result, they stimulate economic growth in under-employed areas. The careers they create breathe life into families, neighborhoods and communities. From their headquarters in Abingdon, Virginia, Wize Solutions provides the high standards associated with work done in America with the low-cost benefits of outsourcing and offshoring – all without the time zone, language, culture and cyber-risk challenges.  Wize Solutions is Building IT with the Best.