Gibbs People Care – Pencils & Smiles Charity

Gibbs Employee Runs a Charity to Provide Supplies to School Children in Zimbabwe

Pencils and Smiles is a 501(c)(3) exempt non-profit that seeks to bridge the gap between education and poverty in Zimbabwe. They endeavor to motivate and encourage those less privileged, giving them hope for a better future and an opportunity to tower above the effects of the poverty they are born into.

The charity was founded by Fadzai Mavindidze, Gibbs Certification Clerk, South Bend, Indiana.  She was moved by the story of a grandmother who walked over 5 miles to her grandfather’s homestead to borrow a pencil so that her grandchild could attend school. In Zimbabwe, supplies are not provided by the school and admittance is dependent upon the students’ ability to provide their books, pencils, and paper.  Without a pencil, the child could not have participated.

Pencils and Smiles is an initiative that aims to ease the adverse effects of unimaginable situations and circumstances such as these, caused by poverty, which are robbing children in this little village, Mazvihwa, Zvishavane Zimbabwe, of their basic right to education.  

Pencils and Smiles adopted an additional school to support in 2019. Rupemba Primary School is a remote rural school situated about 40 km out of Zvishavane, a town in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe.

There are about 330 pupils that attend. The school is comprised of two simple design blocks accommodating a large number of pupils.  There are not enough desks and chairs and they live in lack but, their livelihood and peacefulness show they are not discouraged. They are a hopeful people. Everything needed is in very limited supply which makes teaching and learning a big challenge.

The adoption of Rupemba School was Pencils and Smiles highlight this past year. We distributed well over 300 pencils, and many other school supplies to help and make their challenges a little less and it was greatly appreciated. We harvested a lot of beaming smiles!

Fadzai commented, “It is clear a lot needs to be done to improve the learning standards for the school and that is our main objective as Pencils and Smiles. We believe in small beginnings and small consistent steps and deeds that lead to big and effective results with consistency and with time. Putting a smile on each child and teacher’s face one pencil at a time. Our initial distribution went well despite unavoidable hitches, we pushed through, spread some smiles and effected change.  A big thank you to all that have been involved and have been donating to this cause. You’re making tremendous positive changes in these remote underserved communities.”

The mission of Pencils & Smiles is to make the learning process an enjoyable and fruitful experience through the provision of necessary tools and equipment for every child, in underprivileged communities.

For more about us please visit our website and also visit and like us on Facebook and Instagram

Gibbs Annual Toys For Tots Drive

Gibbs Participates in Toys for Tots 2019 Drive!

The Gibbs Connecticut facility collected toys for the 2019 Toys for Tots drive!  Each year, the office staff and production staff engage in a friendly competition to determine which department can donate the most toys.  

Kristina Fischer coordinated this year’s drive and commented, “While we saw amazing teamwork and effort, Production is still undefeated with the backbone being “The Grinch” and his generous donation of 10  bikes. We had a total of 11 bikes donated this year. On Friday, Dec 13th Mike Burek and I drove the Gibbs sleigh down to the local Marine barracks to donate to the Toys for Tots Foundation. They were in awe when they saw us roll all the bikes in and endlessly grateful for the various toys.  Another successful year Gibbs! Well done!”

Gibbs Toys for Tots

For more information on how you can donate directly:

For more information about the Toys for Tots organization:


Dedication To The Community: Bill Torres & The Wheeler Clinic

Dedication to the Community: Bill Torres & The Wheeler Clinic

Bill Torres, CEO and President of Gibbs, volunteers his time and efforts as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Wheeler Clinic in Connecticut.  As Vice Chair, his role includes membership on the Executive Committee, Board Meetings, Past Chair and current member of the Retirement Benefits Committee, as well as, Past Chair and current member of the Golf Event Committee.

Bill first became involved with the Wheeler Clinic 11 years ago when a friend invited him to assist with the yearly Golf Outing to benefit the Clinic.  Bill has been involved ever since.

In a recent discussion about his commitment to the organization Bill added, “The experience with Wheeler has been wonderful.  They are a very well run organization providing a full range of outstanding care to those in our community who are often underserved.”

Gibbs and the Torres family are sponsors of the annual Golf Outing.  If you would like to attend this year’s golf event on June 11th  or donate to Wheeler you can visit their website here:

About Wheeler Clinic

Wheeler has facilities in several communities in Connecticut including; Bristol, Enfield, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, and Plainville.

Wheeler provided comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues providing individuals, families, and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health, and growth, at all stages of life.

Wheeler provides behavioral health, addiction, and primary care services across Connecticut including treatment for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, opiate and heroin addiction, substance abuse, alcoholism, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.

This blog post is part of the #GibbsPeopleCare campaign promoting the selfless things Gibbs employees and their families do for their communities and charities.

The Gibbs Team ‘Toys for Tots’ Toy Drive

The Gibbs Connecticut Team Exceeded Goals For Annual “Toys for Tots” Campaign

The generous staff and community of people at Gibbs came together this Holiday Season to collect a near truckload of toys for the Marine’s, ‘Toys for Tots’ campaign.  A friendly, competitive spirit, between the office and manufacturing department, proved to be the catalyst for a successful toy drive.   

We’re proud of the efforts of all that coordinated and donated.