Friday, June 14

Need Good News? Families and Schools Thankful For Back To School Donations

It’s time for the kids to gather up their supplies, put on their cool new clothes, strap on their backpacks, and hop back on the bus. Back to school season can be one of the most exciting times of the year. Unfortunately, there are plenty of families across the country that dread these stressful days because they simply don’t have the money to afford high quality backpacks, folders, pens and pencils, rulers, scissors, crayons, binders, calculators, new clothes, and other school supplies for their kids.

Luckily, countless families in need can depend on the many Good Samaritans out there who would love to help them out. Many donated products are given new life in the U.S. and abroad. Internationally, more than 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe people and families across the globe.

But when it comes to getting ready for the new school year, donations of crayons, pens, binders, and any educational items can tremendously help.

“Inability to access basic needs is one of the biggest obstacles to school participation and academic achievement,” warns Bernard Cherkasov, executive director of Cradles to Crayons, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides children in low-income situations with essential school and hygiene items.

According to the Chicago Tribune, 80% of the public school students in Chicago are economically disadvantaged.

“Our model is to give dignity to the families we serve,” said Cherkasov. “For a city as rich and diverse as Chicago, we owe it to our kids to provide them basic essentials.”

Although many families are in need of assistance, there are plenty of schools that are struggling financially and could also use some assistance and donations prior to the beginning of the school year. The News and Observer reports that, on average, teachers have to spend about $500 of their own money on school supplies each year.

These pro bono donations aren’t just about conventional school supplies, either. Though pencils, pens, book bags, and notebooks are essential for a child’s educational career, with the emerging technical climate we’re now in, technological donations are a must as well.

Currently, there are 33,619 private schools in the U.S. serving 5.4 million pre-K and K-12 students, and iPads and laptops are becoming standard issue in many prep schools. Unsurprisingly, some public school districts are struggling to keep up. That’s why it’s essential that those fortunate enough donate any items that can help our children to be better prepared and equipped for the future.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of good people willing to step up and lend a hand. Here in Arizona, the town of Mayer, where 88% of kids qualify for reduced-price school lunches, came together to launch a Christmas in July back to school drive. And in Northern Arizona, 350 volunteers participated this July in Bank of America’s annual back to school clothing drive.

The Scottsdale Independent reports that $2 million worth of school clothing and supplies were donated to more than 10,000 students.

If it feels like good news is hard to come by, just remember that there are just a handful of examples of a national trend.

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