As you head up and down the school supply aisles in the coming weeks, consider teaching your children a valuable lesson: The joy of helping others.
Each year, thousands of kids in Central Texas show up without any school supplies. Their teachers often end up donating out of their own pockets or kids just do without, making their school day much tougher than their peers.
Here are a few places that would love to have your supplies or monetary donation. For organizations that just want a monetary donation, consider doing a neighborhood lemonade stand, bake sale or using some allowance to make the act of giving more personal.
For the Children Inc.
About: For the Children Inc. provides basic school supplies to children that qualify for the federal free and reduced price lunch program with the goal to reach all elementary school children in more than 10 school districts in Central Texas.
How to donate: Make a monetary donation at schoolsuppliesforthechildren.org/donate/. $25 will support seven students, $50 will support 14 students, $100 will support 28 students. A $10 recurring monthly gift will help 40 students. Now through Aug. 14, H-E-B will have tear-off coupons at the register as well.
How to get supplies: Apply with your school’s counselor or principal. The supplies get delivered to the school.
About: Foundation Communities provides housing assistance, tax preparation, English as a second language and more help. It’s looking to give its 700 kids at its learning centers school supplies.
How to donate: You can make a monetary donation at foundcom.org but you also can drop off all kinds of school supplies and backpacks at the Community Financial Center at 2600 W. Stassney Lane, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28.
How to get supplies: You have to be served by Foundation Communities’ learning centers.
Manos de Cristo
About: Manos de Cristo helps people with low incomes in a variety of way. For its school supply drives it provides a backpack, school supplies, two sets of clothing and a book to more than 2,000 students.
How to donate: Make a donation at manosdecristo.org/BTS2017 A $60 donation helps one child.
How to get supplies: Supplies are given away at the Allan Center, 4900 Gonzales St. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. July 24-27 and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 28, while supplies last.
Communities in Schools
About: This organization in schools helps the 120,000 children in Central Texas who have family challenges such as poverty and hunger. It supplies students it serves with backpacks and supplies, hygiene kits and socks and underwear.
How to donate: Drop off supplies to Communities in Schools Central Office located at 3000 S. Interstate 35, Suite 200. Supplies most needed are backpacks, composition books, folders and pencils. Or donate online at ciscentraltexas.org/supplydrive/. There are a couple of levels: $17.12 for a backpack and all the supplies for one kid; $28 for a backpack, supplies, socks, underwear and hygiene kit for one kid; $40 for a new uniform or school logo and shoes for one kid; and $57.12 for a backpack, supplies, new shirt and shoes for one kid.
How to get supplies: Supplies are given to the children Communities in School serves. Ask your school if it is served by them and how to enroll in its program.
SafePlace School Supply Drive
About: SafePlace houses about 300 kids each year with their families because of domestic violence.
How to donate: SafePlace is looking for pencil pouches, wide-ruled composition books, construction paper, folders, large pink erasers, handwriting paper, watercolors, colored pencils, glue sticks, scissors, highlighters, plastic supply boxes, dividers, calculators, tissues, hand sanitizer, gallon-sized zip-top bags. You can drop it off at SafePlace’s warehouse, 1515-A Grove Blvd. during warehouse hours , 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, or you can pick from its Amazon wish list. Find the link at safeaustin.org/get-involved/give/donate/wishlist/backtoschool/
How to get supplies: You have to be housed by SafePlace.
Salvation Army Back to School Drive
About: The Salvation Army houses families including 100 children in its two emergency shelters.
How to donate: The Salvation Army is looking for monetary donations as well as these supplies: tissue, colored paper, blue and black pens, rulers, glue, binders, backpacks, crayons, composition books, markers, spiral notebooks, flash drives as well as clothing. You also can organize a group drive as well. The administration office is at 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 231.
How to get supplies: You have to be housed in the emergency shelters.
Build a Backpack for City of Austin employees
About: City employees can build a backpack by going to http://www.austintexas.gov/buildabackpack and following the instructions. Drop off backpacks 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 28 at City Hall.
How to get supplies: The backpacks get distributed to AISD schools.
United Way Back to School Supply Drive
About: The United Way collects supplies for Austin ISD’s prekindergarten classes.
How to donate: Drop off supplies by Aug. 15 at United Way for Greater Austin, 2000 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a school-specific list.
How to get supplies: The supplies are donated to specific schools.
Catch Air School Supply Drive
About: The kid-fun place offers discounts all throughout August if you bring in school supplies to donate to local schools.
How to donate: Bring three small new school supply items or one large school supply item per every $2 off admission. Example of three small items: pack of pencils, pack of crayons,notebook. Example of a large item: one lunchbox or one backpack, one three pack of Kleenex or one (large) pack of construction paper. Catch Air is at 1401 S. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite 130, Round Rock, and 13450 N. U.S. 183, Suite 107.
AISD Back to School Bash
About: Get free backpacks and supplies, medical screenings and vaccinations with shot record. 9 a.m.–Noon Saturday, Aug. 12. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. Buses leave from Guerrero Thompson and Summitt elementary schools; Bedichek, Martin, Mendez and Covington middle schools; and Lanier and Reagan high schools. austinisd.org/bash
Bastrop Stuff the Bus/Back to School Bash
About: 1,500 students in the Bastrop ISD will receive supplies through this program.
How to donate: Drop off supplies at these locations: Bastrop ISD Service Center, 906 Farm St.; Greater Texas Federal Credit Union, 115 Hunters Crossing Blvd.; Classic Bank, 493 Texas 71; HEB Plus! – pre-package donation bags are available to purchase and donate at their store – 104 Hasler Blvd.; McCoy’s Building Supply, 550 Texas 71; Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8, 1600 Chestnut St. (July 22-29); Adjust Chiropractic, 807 Main St.; and A+ Federal Credit Union, 731 Texas W.
How to get supplies: Attend the Back to School Bash, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Bastrop ISD Memorial Stadium in Cedar Creek.
Round Rock ISD Partners in Education Foundation School Supplies Sunday/Kutz for Kidz Event
About: Donate supplies for about 7,000 students served last year at this supply Round Rock school district supply drive.
How to donate: The foundation is looking for school supplies, but also monetary donations to buy supplies in bulk at rrisdeducationfoundation.org/school-supplies
How to get supplies: Come to Supplies Sunday event Aug. 20 at Hernandez Middle School.
Another great donation opportunity
If your kids are shopping for new school clothes, you can also donate a Hope Pack to Carrying Hope, which helps children entering the foster care system get things like pajamas and a stuffed animal. Carrying Hope is having a Kids Helping Kids Hope Pack Drive. Enjoy snow cones from Kona Ice, a family workout from Stroller Strides, face painting, balloon animals, games and more. Each person who creates and drops off a Hope Pack backpack filled with items kids in foster care need will receive a free family pass to the Thinkery (while supplies last) and be entered into a raffle. Go to carryinghope.com to see what to donate. Free. 9 a.m. to noon, July 22. Browning Hangar at the Mueller Development. carryinghope.com.