When you are shopping for back to school supplies this year, consider picking up some extra supplies to donate. Many children in the US and around the world struggle to afford basic school supplies. School district budgets are also stretched tight and many teacher reach into their own pockets to provide school supplies for their classroom.
According to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, the average teacher spends $365 dollars each year on classroom supplies. To donate directly to a school in need, go to the website iLoveSchools.com. On this site, you can offer to donate extra school supplies and be matched with schools and teachers in need.
Staples, a national office supply store, also has collection bins at its site. You can find your nearest drop off bin at dosomething.org. These bins will be available for donations through September 18, 2010. These supplies will go directly to children who are in need of school supplies. If you don’t have a Staples nearby, many other stores will also participate in collecting donating supplies during back to school season.
Supplyourschools.com is a website which allows teachers to create a “wish list” of items that are needed for their classroom. Donors can then fulfill whichever lists they want. Donations are made through the website making for an easy donation.
Often, you can make the biggest impact on your community by looking for opportunities to give locally. Consider contacting your local school to see what their needs are. Local donation drives are also often held in late summer or early fall. You may also consider sending your child into school with some extra supplies to be shared with classmates.
Many international charities also accept donations of school supplies. Operation International Children collects monetary donations and school supply kits for children in Iraq. To donate supplies, the donor only needs to pay postage to a US address. The company will arrange for the supplies to be to Iraq.
School supplies is an example of a donation that does not have to cost a lot and can still have a big impact. In the last summer and early fall, school supplies are often on sale so picking up an extra notebook or folder may cost very little. If you find a great sale, consider picking up an extra item and dropping it off in the donation box on your way out the door.
Morgan Fogarty, Teachers Spend Own Money on School Supplies, Fox Charlotte