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The poverty rate for children under 18 in the US has risen from 14.4% in 2019 to 16.1% in 2020, according to the Census Bureau, leaving many families with school-age children on tight budgets. In fact, according to a survey by Lending Tree, 29% of parents say they can’t afford to buy school supplies for their kids.
If you want to give back to your community and support students and teachers, donating school supplies can be a meaningful way to make a difference. This article explains where you can donate school supplies and why you should do so.
Why should you donate school supplies?
Every year, some parents struggle to buy essential school supplies for their children. As a result, children can start the school year without enough school supplies, often resulting in teachers having to fill the gap.
A 2021 survey of U.S. teachers by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 94% of public school teachers paid for school supplies from their own resources. According to a survey by nonprofit Adoptaclassroom.org, teachers spent an average of $750 of their own money to purchase materials for their classrooms in the 2020-21 school year.
For 30% of the teachers surveyed, these costs reached $1,000 or more. Additionally, teachers spent an average of $160 on personal protective equipment and cleaning products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depending on where you donate school supplies, your donation may be tax deductible. Check with an organization to see if your donation can be considered a charitable donation.
When you donate school supplies, you help students get the tools they need to study throughout the school year. They can also help alleviate some of the burdens and financial burdens that are constantly placed on teachers.
Below you will find information on where you can donate school supplies and which supplies are in demand.
Top school supplies to donate
If you’re looking for school supplies donation ideas, read on for common articles that teachers and students use in their classrooms.
Art supplies such as construction paper, crayons, glue and other consumables are staples in many preschool and elementary school classes and are therefore always needed.
Every child needs a backpack to carry books and supplies to and from school. Good quality backpacks can be expensive, leaving some families struggling to afford durable backpacks for their children. With proper care, backpacks can last more than a school year, so students can get a lot of use out of them.
Although calculators are available on smartphones, not every student has a smartphone, and schools may not allow students to use their phones during class. Different types of calculators serve different purposes, so a young student may get by with a basic calculator, while a high school student may need a more advanced (and expensive) calculator.
If you are donating calculators to a specific class or school, first determine what type of calculator would be appropriate.
hygiene and cleaning products
Facial tissues, paper towels, antibacterial wipes, antibacterial sprays and hand sanitizer are essentials in every classroom. Disinfecting high-touch surfaces in classrooms is an essential step to keep classrooms clean and prevent the spread of diseases such as COVID-19, flu or the common cold.
laptops and tablets
Donating a laptop or tablet can give a child whose family has limited financial resources access to technology. Check with local organizations for those that will accept gently used computer equipment, or the means to purchase that equipment, and donate it to local schools. These organizations may deem certain computers too old or outdated, so review all requirements before donating.
School supplies may vary by class, but students of all ages use notebooks. These come in handy for writing first drafts, tracking data in a science experiment, and everything in between.
Some schools accept donations of sports equipment for use during breaks and physical education classes. Because schools may use certain types of exercise equipment, you should check with a school before purchasing charity items.
You can never have too many pencils, highlighters, pens, or markers in a classroom, so writing implements make excellent items to donate. Since these are more affordable than some other types of school supplies, donating writing implements works if you’re on a budget.
Where to donate school supplies
Many schools accept donations in kind for students and teachers. We list a few such places below, but remember there are many more organizations and businesses in communities across the country.
Local school supply trips
You will find school supplies campaigns in many communities. These trips often take place just before school starts in late summer or autumn.
Keep an eye out at your local grocery stores, libraries, retailers, community organizations, and churches for information on how to donate and what specific items they need. Homeless centers can also accept school supply donations for their residents who are students.
Your child’s classroom or school
If you have school-age children or grandchildren, you may want to donate directly to their classroom or school. If you choose to do this, consult with your child’s teacher for information on what materials they need most.
Adoptaclassroom.org is a fundraising platform that teachers can use to raise money for much-needed classroom supplies. You can choose to donate money to a specific school, teacher, or one of their Spotlight funds. These funds provide grants for specific purposes, such as B. Arts or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Compudopt is an organization that collects, recycles and distributes gently used computers, monitors, keyboards and other equipment to children with limited financial means. The organization also accepts monetary donations. A computer can be made available to a child with a donation of $275. This organization serves communities in several states. If it doesn’t serve your area, you can see if you have a similar local organization to contact.
Computers with causes
Computers with Causes is an organization that provides refurbished computers to low-income families and foster children free of charge. This organization does not limit its work to students. It also provides computers for disabled veterans, seniors, and nonprofit organizations.
Children in Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation provides school supplies to students and teachers in underserved schools. This organization works with businesses and other organizations to set up fundraisers for school supplies. It also works with local authorities and schools to provide relief supplies to students affected by natural disasters.
In addition, teachers can search the searchable resource library to find informative lesson plans and activities for their students. You can choose to donate goods or money.
Level the playing field
Leveling the Playing Field is an organization that collects and distributes gently used exercise equipment to schools, community programs and organizations that provide services to underfunded youth. The company has warehouses in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC. It also supplies devices to other areas. You can either donate equipment or make a monetary donation.
Operation Backpack is an initiative of Volunteers of America. This program provides backpacks filled with school supplies to needy students. If you would like to support this program, you can make a cash donation to help cover the cost of these items.
United Way accepts school supplies donations for students in the organization’s local communities. The types of aids United Way accepts depend on the needs of the students in each community. Contact your local United Way organization for donation information.
World Computer Exchange
World Computer Exchange makes refurbished computers, tablets, digital cameras and other related devices available to students in 78 developing countries. Visit the organization’s website for a chapter and a list of acceptable donations.