When I was a little girl growing up in the inner city way below the poverty line, I had some seriously mixed feelings about the first day of school. I always dreaded it because I knew I would not be returning with hand me downs, let alone new outfits. I was grateful if I could get someone to wash the few items I owned. So, I can relate first hand with the anxiety that millions of American kids are starting to feel. Many of us adults may say it’s not about the clothes on your back, but let’s be honest. Dressing your best builds confidence and allows you to present your best self. Having a back pack full of supplies often makes one more eager to learn. I pulled together some information to guide you in the direction of where to get free school supplies: School supply lists get longer and more expensive each year.
If you find yourself needing some help this year, there are several ways you can get it.
- Utilize Your Community: Contact local churches, charities ,and nonprofit organizations, and research local distribution projects. The American Red Cross usually holds school supply drives at their local chapters.
- Seek Out Backpack Programs: Backpack programs — such as the Office Depot Foundation’s National Backpack Program, Schools on Wheels and School Ready Supplies — donate supply-filled backpacks to students.
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If you find yourself in a good financial position and you are so inclined, there are several ways you can help low-income families at back to school time.
- Donate additional school supplies to your child’s classroom or to your local school district
- Organize a clothing drive for children and teens
- Donate your talent. Are you a hairdresser? Round up a few of your colleagues and offer free back to school haircuts for kids in need. If you are a doctor or a dentist, consider donating your services.
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