I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils in the morning.


I really do have a thing for office supplies; every August, I prowl the back-to-school aisles just for kicks. It’s fun to see the latest styles in lunch boxes and to breathe deeply the intoxicating aroma of erasers.

All this fun doesn’t come cheap though. According to the National Retail Federation, families will spend an average of $90.49 on schools supplies this fall. Sheesh. Note that this whopper of a number doesn’t include shoes or clothing – just supplies.  Anecdotally, I have noticed as a parent that what the schools are asking each kid to bring with them on the first day has gone beyond a box of tissues and extra pencils – now schools are requesting reams of paper, headphones, and USB drives.

Even with hunting the super sales, there are many families who certainly find it difficult to meet those needs. To that end, here’s a list of retailers and organizations that are doing back-to-school drives. The next time you are out shopping, please consider throwing a few extra items in your basket to help children in need.

Sleep Country Foster Kids: Options here include dropping off donations at stores, or making an online donation and they will do the shopping for you.

Treehouse for Kids: Treehouse also focuses on children in the foster care system. Use their tips to host a supply drive of your own.

Project Cool: Project Cool helps kids through the uncertainty and chaos of homelessness. Again, options are to donate cash online, or to host a supplies drive in your neighborhood or workplace.

Fred Meyer: What could be easier than to wander their aisles for supplies, and then plunk them into the specially marked bins inside the store as you leave?

This is just a partial list; use the comments box to let us know of other drives in the area.

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1 thought on “Back-to-school, back-to-the-piggy-bank”

  1. Pingback: The back-to-school boogie | Zeno

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