August. Known for its heat, the end of summer, and first-day-of-school photo ops. To parents with school-age children it’s also known as a month of spending. Arguably one of the two hardest times of year for families barely making it financially (the other being the holiday season).
Thankfully there are programs and nonprofits that cater to this specific issue, helping alleviate the financial burden for parents and helping maintain or increase the excitement children experience as they begin a new school year.
Here are a few groups that do amazing work helping the nation’s children show up to the school year prepared:
For the Children, Inc.
Students enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program in school districts in Central Texas are eligible to receive assistance from For the Children.
This program is run on in-kind time and services donations, enabling the organization to put 100% of donations to the intended goal: helping the children.
Having relationships with wholesale school supply providers enables For the Children, Inc. to get more bang for the buck too – they’re able to purchase supplies at a lower rate than if you’d taken your money to the store.
In 2015 For the Children, Inc. gave school supplies to over 55,000 Central Texas children – 60% of the children who qualify to receive supplies. That’s fantastic coverage that we look forward to seeing grow over the coming years.
Kids in Need Foundation
This organization focuses on communities and schools with the greatest need. Literally. They provide supplies to students who attend schools with 70% or greater participation in the federal free and reduced lunch program.
A greatly targeted organization and a two-pronged one as well. They not only help students but also teachers. Teachers can get free school supplies from their 40 Resource Centers located across the country.
This wonderfully successful program helped over 5 million children last year. An established organization optimized to utilize any form of giving – whether that’s financial, supplies, your services, fundraising or volunteering. So whatever your preferred form of giving is, Kids in Need Foundation will gladly receive.
While most organizations that provide school supplies seem to (smartly) target students enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program, Treehouse has (also smartly) targeted another in-need population: kids in foster care.
Less than 50% of kids in foster care graduate from high school and Treehouse aims to improve that statistic. So they’ve set out to improve the lives of foster kids throughout King County, Washington.
All their services add up to a more holistic approach to helping foster children succeed in school but one of their programs, The Wearhouse, is a free store providing kids with school supplies, clothes, and shoes.
If children in foster care are a population that speaks to your giving side, consider giving Treehouse a look.
If it’s military and military families that are important to you, then Operation Homefront’s annual Back-to-School Brigade campaign should be on your radar. This campaign provides school supplies to military families.
Last year they provided backpacks full of supplies to over 25,000 military children. This year’s campaign ends August 11th so don’t dally if you’re interested in helping military families of our nation.
We are proud to support our children and the many organizations across the country who work hard to ensure every child is provided for. We've been immensely inspired by the work these 4 organizations do, and hope you consider giving them your support!
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