As you can imagine, teachers and students need school supplies more than ever this year, and have less personal funds to get them. With the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of students are learning from home, which means they need their regular supplies as well as extra supplies to be successful. Teachers and schools are supplying as much as possible, but funding always runs short.
Many generous individuals, businesses, and organizations are looking for ways to help. If you’re wondering where to donate school supplies to help in these difficult times, here are some different ways and places to do so.
Many local grocery stores and nationwide chains hold school supply drives every year. You can donate supplies or funds directly to certain schools or to just anyone in need. Pick up extra school supplies while you’re shopping or grab a list for a particular class (most stores keep teacher lists on hand for local schools) and buy a few of those items or even one child’s entire school supply list.
You can purchase supplies and deliver them directly to schools. Inquire first about what supplies the school needs before just dropping off random supplies. There may be a specific need the school has that is a little different than the standard supplies you’re used to buying. Maybe there’s a project that needs special funding. It’s always good to call the school and ask.
Local libraries are a great place to drop off school supplies or donate books. Libraries often supply books to schools and need extra funding to do so. You can also donate used books to libraries who will either add them to their shelves, sell them to raise money for their services, or pass them on to schools in need. Libraries are also a good place to donate toward other school-related resources such as tutoring and reading incentive programs.
When it comes to charity, nobody does it better than churches. If you’re looking for a place to donate school supplies, funds, or anything really, try a local church. Most likely they’ll already have a campaign going to collect school supplies, and if they don’t, they’ll either take your donations and get them where they are needed or point you in the right direction.
Online School Supply Retailers
In the current situation, many families and teachers have taken to the internet to order their school supplies this year rather than entering busy stores. Did you know that teachers create wish lists on school supply retail sites? Donors can go in and search for a certain teacher’s wish list or just find any teacher in need and purchase the supplies they need. Try Geddes to purchase bulk school supplies or individual items for a teacher or student in need.
Office Supply Stores
Visit any office supply store during the back to school season and you’re sure to see plenty of ways to donate school supplies to schools, teachers, and students in need. Some stores even go above and beyond, such as OfficeMax who partners with Adopt a Classroom to fund an annual event called A Day Made Better, where 1,000 teachers are awarded $1,000 of school supplies.
Adopt a Classroom
Donors can “adopt a classroom”, meaning they donate funds so that teachers can order the supplies they need. Donations can come from individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations, and any other source of funding. Teachers create wish lists online and can use the funds they receive to order the supplies needed for everyday instruction or special projects.
What’s unique about this organization is that the donor can choose a teacher to support based on the information the teacher provides. Teachers write a description of their project or lesson that they need funding or supplies for. These are posted up for donors to read through and choose a specific cause that really speaks to them. The donor provides the funding and the Donors Choose organization provides the supplies.
ClassWish is an online platform for teachers to create wish lists for school supplies they need in their classrooms. It is completely free for teachers and donors to use. Donors can search for specific teachers or simply fund any teacher’s wish list, even those they don’t know personally. Teachers can start using their funds to order supplies with the very first donation. There’s no need to wait until donations reach a specific dollar amount.
When a teacher, classroom, or school needs technology of some kind, Digital Wish is one way to get it. Through Digital Wish teachers and school staff can apply for a technology grant that would fund computers or other technological devices that a class or school needs. In order to apply, a teacher must include a lesson plan or project plan that explains why technology would be necessary. A grant is more likely to be awarded if the plan is creative and innovative, showing how the requested digital equipment could be used to promote learning for this particular project and in the future.
Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation’s Supply a Teacher project sets out to provide teachers with a semester’s worth of classroom supplies funded by donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. Similar to Donors Choose, this project allows donors to read over teacher requests for supplies to find a cause they feel passionate about. This project requires full funding to be complete, after which a large box of supplies is delivered right to the teacher’s classroom.
Donate funds directly to Operation Backpack, a part of Volunteers of America. Your donation not only provides backpacks and supplies to students in need, it also funds afterschool programs and tutoring services for students from Pre-K through college. Sometimes kids need more than just supplies to be successful. Kids in low-income families are less likely to be successful at school and more likely to drop out, unless they receive the right kind of intervention.
United Way is one of the oldest charitable organizations, having been in existence since 1887. This is just one more place you can donate school supplies. Visit the United Way website to learn how to donate and other ways you may be able to help the schools in your community. United Way even offers you the option of having a specific donation amount deducted from each paycheck for year-round support of the cause.
This organization helps military families in many different ways. One of those ways happens to be providing school supplies to children of military parents. You can donate on a state by state basis to support military families in your area.
Pencils of Promise
If you think students in the United States have trouble acquiring the school supplies they need to be successful, imagine how countries like Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Laos fare. You can donate school supplies to other countries as well via Pencils of Promise. Donated funds also support the building of schools, increasing literacy rates, and teaching kids about proper hygiene.
Hold a School Supply Drive
Make a bigger impact with more donors. You can help with whatever you’re able to donate personally or from your business, but you could do much more by coordinating a school supply drive. Work with a school in need in your community and collect supplies and donations. Advertise outside of grocery stores and office supply stores. Coordinate it online through social media. Even include links to some of the best school supply retailers online, such as Geddes, for donors to order from. Holding your own school supply drive is a greatly rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Open a School Store
A great way to earn money for supplies for your school is to open a school store. Geddes can supply your school store with fun pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and other accessories that kids love. Popular characters such as The Cat in the Hat, Dog Man, Pete the Cat, Minions, emojis, and more are on pencils, erasers, stickers, and other items. It’s amazing how brightly colored, fun school supplies can get kids excited about doing their school work. Holding a school store can raise enough funds to ensure your school is never lacking supplies.
Donations Are Always Tax Deductible
It is always important to remind donors that their contributions are 100% tax deductible. Any type of charitable donation is tax deductible, which can really boost your tax return in noticeable ways. Most organizations you donate to will provide you with a receipt that you can keep for your own records or take with you to your tax preparer. Keep your own receipts for anything you purchase in stores or online to donate.
Doing Your Part
When times are hard, communities need to rally together to get through. Donating school supplies is one of the best ways to help with what is arguably the biggest adjustment people have had to make due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students, families, teachers, and other school staff are all in a unique situation that most of us have never experienced in our lifetime. But the generosity of people is what can make a real difference.
How to Donate Supplies Through Geddes
If you’re wondering where to donate school supplies, Geddes is a leading supplier of school supplies, toys, gifts, prizes, and more. You can order bulk school supplies or individual items. Purchase supplies to donate or fund wish lists that teachers have placed on the Geddes website. Shipping is free on orders of $25 or more.