As summer comes to an end, parents around the country are planning last-minute summer adventures, enjoying extra ice cream, and getting their kids ready to enter a brand new year of learning. It's an exciting season, as the weather cools and our children anxiously await the start of a new year. But what if something as simple as quality school supplies was standing in the way of your child getting the most out of their school year? For many kids in America, that is exactly the case. Luckily, if you're wondering how to donate back to school supplies to low-income families, there are plenty of ways to help those in need. Because everyone deserves to have the best tools to help them learn.
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, about 44 percent of children in the United States live in poverty. That means more than one in five children in America are unable to afford basic necessities that include much more than just school supplies. Additionally, PBS noted that there are only three other countries in the developed world with lower child poverty rates than in the U.S.
These numbers are discouraging, yes, but luckily, those of us who have more than enough can do our part to at least make sure that more children are getting the education they deserve by donating school supplies.
Organizations like the Kids In Need Foundation have excellent programs designed specifically to benefit low-income families and the schools they attend. Its School Ready Supplies Program provides kids with pre-packed backpacks filled with everything they'll need to have a successful school year. Each backpack costs only $25 and their donation page makes it easy to send hope to a child in need.
Additionally, KINF offers the option to host your own "backpack building event" to get your whole office, friend group, church, or neighborhood involved.
Another organization doing great things for kids in need is School on Wheels who provides school supplies and tutors for homeless children. They have the option to sponsor a field trip, provide a backpack full of supplies, or even pay for a full year of learning for a child who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity.
Similarly, if you live near or know of a school where kids are lacking proper supplies, American Graduate suggests simply dropping supplies off at the school or hosting your own supplies drive among your friends and family. Donating doesn't have to be complicated — simply running to your local Target and picking up a few extra notebooks can make a difference.
Although the thought of a child's education being put at risk because her family can't afford the proper supplies is heartbreaking, it's encouraging to know that there are non-profits and organizations like KINF, School on Wheels, and many others who are dedicated to making a difference.