We know you’ve felt it coming: back-to-school season is officially here! Whether you’ve been planning for weeks or have just begun to realize it’s time to get busy stocking up on notebooks, pens, backpacks, and other items, no doubt you’ve got quite a list of supplies to track down! We all know kids need lots of items to make their school year a success, and every year, the dash to check everything off the back-to-school list consumes every parent’s thoughts as September rolls around. But what if you couldn’t give your child the supplies they need to be successful this school year? What if the financial burden of pencils, paper and other essentials was just too great to handle? This is the situation in which millions of kids and their schools find themselves.
Donations of school supplies and other needs for schools and kids in your community are needed all year round, but never more than during the back-to-school hustle. Although you might not know it, local schools could be running on shoestrings when it comes to even the most basic supplies, leaving students deprived of basics like notebooks, pens and art supplies. Likewise, there are plenty of kids heading off to class with few or no supplies of their own, leaving them scrambling to scrounge up even the most basic tools for learning.
How You Can Help
Fortunately, this is the best time of year to support charities that focus on school supply donations. . Here are four organizations that donate school supplies to both kids and their schools, helping to equip young minds with the tools they need to learn this year:
School on Wheels
School on Wheels of Massachusetts focuses specifically on students impacted by homelessness, giving them academic and emotional support to help them achieve a productive future - a future that hopefully breaks the cycle of homelessness. The charity provides one-on-one tutoring to students living in motels, shelters, and vehicles who might not otherwise be able to regularly attend school, and supplies school-year essentials like backpacks and other must-have supplies.
Project Backpack, an initiative led by Elgin Community College in Illinois, puts together backpacks full of needed school supplies for kids who couldn't otherwise afford them. Their desired items list includes basics like folders, spiral notebooks, filler paper, pencils, and other inexpensive supplies. They also accept online school supply donations through the Elgin Community College Foundation so even if you can't be there to drop off items in person, you can still help out!
Kids in Need Foundation
Large-scale charity Kids in Need Foundation has the mission "to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need." They look to help kids struggling with poverty by providing them with school supply donations - which, according to their recent studies, can help improve grades, classroom behavior, and self-esteem. Not only do they accept financial and in-kind donations, but they also accept individual products and items. Plus, they have a handy shopping list of partner stores that make in-kind donations quick and easy if you choose to shop for your own school supplies there.
Schoolhouse Supplies has a unique multi-pronged approach to their school supply donation programs, branching into multiple avenues of giving to impact as many students as possible. In addition to their annual school supply drive, involving leveraging members of the community and social media outreach to collect donated school supplies and distribute them to kids in need, they also accept year-round drop-off school supply donations by appointment, to ensure that everyone who wants to donate school supplies can do so when it suits their schedule. These donated school supplies are then distributed directly to classrooms in the form of back-to-school kits, or provided for teachers at Schoolhouse Supplies’ Free Store for Teachers, which allows educators to equip their entire classrooms for the school year in one convenient location. Schoolhouse Supplies also encourages community members to host donation events, volunteer, or buy their own child’s school supplies through their online store, all of which support ongoing school supply donations to kids in need.
We Can All Make a Difference To Students In Need
Although contributing to an organization that donates school supplies to students and schools might not be the first opportunity for giving that comes to mind, at this time of year, more than any other, it’s one of the most impactful donations you could make. You can choose to donate as an individual, or if you want to multiply your impact, you can go all-out with a school fundraiser - we happen to have an easy solution handy for that, too! Making sure the bright minds of tomorrow are equipped for success, whether financially or simply through some brand-new school supplies, ought to be on everyone's mind this back-to-school season.