Summer isn't over just yet, but families across the country are already preparing to head back to school in just a matter of weeks. And while shopping for new notebooks, cool folders, and fun pens is tons of fun for many kids, school supplies don't come cheap. Fortunately, though, there are ways you can help alleviate some of that stress many families in America face. In fact, you can donate a backpack full of school supplies to students in need with one simple message to your Amazon Alexa.
Every kid deserves the chance to learn and should have everything they need to succeed when school starts up again this fall. And to aid in just that, Amazon has teamed up with a huge star — the Shaquille O'Neal — as well as Zappos for Good to assist customers in donating backpacks full of school supplies to kids who need them most, according to a press release from the company shared with Romper on Monday.
All you have to do is say, "Alexa, donate to Happy School Year," and the device will do the rest. After confirming the backpack purchase, which will be under $25, Amazon will load it up with supplies — like pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, and other items — at no additional cost to you. The backpack will then be shipped to Communities In Schools, which is the United States' largest provider of in-school resources and support for kids who need it.
And after making your donation, Amazon will treat you to a special gift. According to the press release, everyone who donates will get a thank you message from Shaq, who serves as a member of the Communities In Schools National Board.
Additionally, according to Amazon, for every backpack donated via Alexa, the company will also "donate school supplies (including items such as pens, pencils, rulers, and notebooks) to Communities in Schools, up to $200,000."
Back-to-school season can be a really stressful time for all families, but perhaps especially for those struggling financially. In fact, a recent survey by OnePoll found that 42 percent of parents worry about the cost of new school supplies, according to the New York Post, while nearly 60 percent feel like the back-to-school season is the "most stressful part of the year." And the cost factor is certainly a valid concern considering research from the National Retail Federation suggests that families with kids in elementary school through high school will likely spend an average of $696.70 on school supplies. That's not exactly pocket change.
Schools across the country do what they can to help their students succeed, but, unfortunately, many are strapped for cash and can't give everything to every child. If you're in a position to help kids who are need of necessary school supplies, Amazon's "Happy School Year" initiative is surely a simple and worthy route to consider. You can donate school supplies through your Amazon Alexa from now until Sept. 9, 2019. And, hey, if you do, you'll get a cool message from Shaq to brag about — it's a win/win!