With the school year quickly approaching, many parents are taking their children shopping for back-to-school supplies. Unfortunately, for some children, the items on the list are too expensive for their families to afford. Instead of excitement about the upcoming school year, these children are often filled with dread.
At Give2Get, we design and execute many programs that assist these children. Last week in Denver, meeting attendees filled backpacks with school supplies for children served by the Adoption Exchange, which is just one example of a program like this we've built in the past.
Here are some other nonprofits that are making back-to-school season easier:
Cradles to Crayons: Children often have a hard time learning because their basic needs aren't being met. Cradles to Crayons assists children from birth through age 12 who are living in homeless or low-income situations. The organization collects new and nearly new children's items through community drives and corporate donations. Those items are processed and packaged by volunteers in The Giving Factory, the organization's warehouse. These packages are then distributed to local disadvantaged children through a network of service partners.
Donors Choose: Teachers have long reached into their own pockets to provide supplies for their classroom and students. Donors Choose helps defray those costs. Teachers can post information about their classroom and the supplies they need. Potential donors can filter through these different asks by grade-level, subject matter, and location to find one they'd like to support — and, not to worry, multiple donors can contribute to the same project — so you don't feel obligated to contribute the full amount.
Kids in Need Foundation: In addition to its programs that assist children who need back-to-school supplies, the Kids in Need Foundation also helps students who have been displaced because of natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes through their Second Responder Program. With these natural disasters on the rise, this program has become increasingly important.
Listen Learn Care Foundation: Formerly the Office Depot Disaster Relief Foundation, the Listen Learn Care Foundation created the National Backpack Program. Through this program, more than four million colorful, kid-friendly backpacks and sackpacks containing essential school supplies have been donated to children and organizations across the United States and internationally.
Local Police Departments: Around the country, many police officers take place in the "Shop with a Cop" program, which pairs police officers with school-aged children in their communities. The officer and child go back-to-school shopping together to make sure that the child has everything he or she needs for the new school year. The program also helps officers build connections with their local communities.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation: Founded by Michael Kamen, who wrote the score for the film Mr. Holland's Opus, this foundation donates high-quality musical instruments to deserving, under-funded music programs. By increasing a school’s inventory of playable music instruments, teachers are given the tools they need to deliver a quality music education to students. In collaboration with committed school districts, the Foundation’s investments are strategically placed as part of a K–12 district-wide plan to achieve positive and lasting results.