How to Organize a School Supply Drive
September is just around the corner, and so is the excitement of back-to-school shopping. When parents shop for their supplies to get the academic year started on the right foot, they may want to consider turning the shopping spree into a lesson on giving. Help families who struggle to purchase the lengthy list of new supplies, and the teachers who use their own money to buy much-needed classroom supplies.
Hosting a school supply drive as a family or with a community organization is a relevant way to teach kids that charity begins at home, and ensure that all students start the year off right.
Here is our list of to-dos and ideas that will make creating a school supply drive for your community a snap.
Decide Who Will Benefit from the Drive:
You can adopt a local school or classroom, donate the supplies to a national charity, like Kids in Need or Operation Backpack, or give the supplies to a women and children’s shelter. Opt to help kids globally by collecting for an international initiative like Develop Africa.
Partnering with local religious or civic organizations could be helpful for your drive. They may be able to provide some extra hands, a location, and help spread the word to a larger audience. If you want to do it yourself, enlist a few like-minded families to help with the logistics and planning.
Decide the Structure of Your Drive: Choose between the low-key neighborhood dropbox, or make it more of an event with a drive. Keep in mind, should you go with the hands-off dropbox approach, find volunteers to check the boxes daily to collect the donations.
Establish What Supplies You’ll Collect: Charities, schools, and other partner organizations will most likely be able to provide your drive with a list of requested items. You may also consider letting donors ‘sponsor’ a backpack by asking them to donate all the requested supplies in a backpack. You could ask for monetary donations to purchase the supplies, then pack and deliver backpacks to the school or organization. If you want to donate fully stocked backpacks consider working with Yoobi, a socially conscious school, and office supply company. Yoobi sells pre-loaded backpack kits specifically for charity drives. Plus, Yoobi gives back to schools with each purchase, so it’s almost like giving twice!
Select a Location: Where you hold the drive is the most important part of the plan. While any spot where people pass through will work, your best bet is to set up the drive outside of a store. Pass out copies of the school supply wish-lists to shoppers as they arrive asking them to purchase an item or two from the list and drop it off with you when they leave.
Get the Word Out: You need to let people in your community know the details of the drive. Share on social media, and pass out or hang up flyers on bulletin boards throughout your community. Post on local message boards and send an email to your entire network. Then ask your friends to do the same.
Have the Drive and Drop Off the Supplies: Ask friends and family to take shifts manning the drive table, or ask them to help you organize the donated supplies for the charity when the drive is over. Make sure you check with the organization or school you’re working with to see how they would like the donations bundled or delivered.