As summer draws to a close, many Americans may be looking to do some back-to-school shopping, even if they don’t have kids.
Thanks to the pathetic priorities of our state and federal governments, teachers often have to spend their own meager salaries on classroom supplies or basic equipment, like those teachers in Baltimore who hope fans freshen up their spaces. It’s not just teachers who are struggling to make ends meet. Families across the country are trying to pay the bills while loading up with new three-ring binders, new No. 2 pencils, new lined papers and new protractors, not to mention graphing calculators.
There are a lot of big, heavy, anxiety-provoking issues facing the world right now, but sending a child to school with a new backpack and sharp pencils to start the year off right is much more manageable than to solve global warming on your lunch hour. Schools and local churches frequently host back-to-school programs, but if you’re looking for something even easier, here are nine more ways to help this back-to-school:
- Donors choose: This website allows teachers to make lists of all the supplies they need. Search locally, pick a project you love (like library books, fidget toys, or STEM tools), or just pick a classroom worthy of your largesse recipient, like this one in Massachusetts , this one in Chicago or this one. one in Georgia.
- Operation Backpack: The program connects children in need with new backpacks filled with specific school supplies each year and supports after-school and mentorship programs for children across the United States.
- The Kids in Need Foundation works to help children and classrooms get all the supplies they need. If you cannot donate cash through its School Ready Supplies program which provides school supplies directly to students, consider donating services such as marketing skills, printing or shipping services. .
- United Way: Across the country, outposts of this organization are working to send children to school with backpacks full of all necessary supplies. Each branch operates independently, so the easiest way to donate locally is to google United Way and your community or simply choose an area in need, like this one in Dallas, this one in Mississippi and this one here in North Carolina.
- Pencils of Promise: It’s not just American kids who need school supplies. This organization helps children around the world through its programs, and 100% of donations go directly to its good work.
- Operation Homefront: Help a military child return to school with all the supplies he needs. Or visit one of over 60 Back-to-School Squad events across the United States
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America: This organization runs an annual Back2School program that raises money specifically to benefit students by donating supplies, funding after-school programs, and more. To help out, visit one of their partners, who this year range from Gap to Chuck E. Cheese to Toyota, Comcast and Coca-Cola, all of whom donate supplies, volunteer with their staff or encourage the public to participate.
- Coalition for the Homeless: According to this group’s website, nearly 115,000 New York City school children were homeless at some point last year. The organization receives donations of cash or supplies to help children living in unstable housing get the supplies they need for school.
- #ClearTheLists: A new viral campaign is helping donors connect with teachers in need through the hashtag #ClearTheLists on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign was started by Courtney Jones, who wanted to give the public the opportunity to donate money and supplies to teachers across the country by buying everything on their Amazon wishlists, posting a video on YouTube about the project. The idea went viral and was spurred on by country artist Casey Donahew, who set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for more supplies. To get involved, look for the #clearthelists hashtag on social networks.