For many struggling families in the Puget Sound region, the thought of back-to-school shopping for backpacks, calculators and notebooks, not to mention clothes, can be overwhelming and stressful.
Thankfully, many community efforts have sprung up to help address those needs. Here are a few. Keep them in mind as you're shopping for your own kids, and if you know of other school-supply drives and the like, let us know so we can add them.
Mary's Place is holding a back-to-school carnival on Saturday, Aug. 24, and is seeking school supplies to help the families it serves. Items needed include notebooks, binders, pens/pencils, highlighters, pencil pouches, backpacks and more. (And lift your spirits with this sweet story about a family who got help from Mary's Place.)
Bartell Drugs is running its 17th Annual School Tools program through Aug. 30, welcoming donations of school supplies and hygiene products.
Items will be donated to World Vision’s Teacher Resource Center in Fife, which serves more than 70,000 students in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Donated items help restock the center where teachers “shop” for supplies for qualifying students.
There are three ways to donate: Cash donations are accepted at 66 neighborhood Bartell Drugs locations. Customers can also purchase select items marked in-store with “School Tools” tags and place them in red donation bins in stores. at the front of the stores. Also, monetary donations can be made online.
The Stuff the Bus school supply drive is an annual effort where Communities in Schools of Seattle partner up with local businesses and organizations to collect school supplies. At the end of the drive, they bring a school bus around to different collecting sites and hopefully, the bus ends up literally, stuffed. You can donate online, collect school supplies at your place of work, or simply collect some supplies on your own and drop them off. Collection day is August 23. See a detailed list of supplies needed here.
Tacoma Mall is promoting its "Stuff the Bus" effort in conjunction with a back-to-school fashion show from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 in the mall's Macy’s Court.
Fill the Canoe is Red Canoe Credit Union’s annual school-supply drive. Each year, they collect new school supplies from staff, members and communities at different branches, and then match those donations pound-for-pound. Locations like Federal Way and Covington will run their drive through August 16, Puyallup’s drive runs through August 23. Check out the website for dropoff locations.
WDTL is collecting backpacks, school supplies, and soccer equipment through August 23, to benefit Treehouse, which serves Washington State youth in foster care. The soccer equipment will be distributed to children who may not have a chance to play otherwise. Donations can be dropped off at Betts, Patterson & Mines, 701 Pike Street, Suite 1400, or, if you would like to make arrangements for WDTL to pick up donations from your office, contact Diane Cornell at 206-268-8618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are still a few more days to participate in CIS Renton’s Backpack Drive, which runs through August 15. For donation drop off sites, check out the list here. CIS Renton also hosts a benefit Back-to-School golf tournament on Aug. 17 at Newcastle Golf Course.
Spotted while driving around: South King Fire & Rescue is accepting donations of school supplies at some of its locations.