Have extra school supplies? Here’s how you can get them to students in need
If you’re a parent, odds are good you’ve at some point amassed a treasure trove of school supplies from never-opened crayon boxes to extra reams of paper purchased for printing that never happened, tissue boxes gathering dust in the linen closet or no-longer-read books.
While your children might not need those goodies, there are plenty of students and teachers who do. So consider donating any unused or barely used school supplies. Here are some ways you can do so or otherwise help local students or teachers in need.
Donate school supplies:
Bought too many pens or pencils? Any educator in West Alabama would be ecstatic to get your extras. Here are some donation possibilities to consider:
- Ask teachers what they need and send your child to school with those items. If you’re donating to a teacher or school and don’t have an affiliation, call first. You’ll likely be told to drop items off at the school’s front office
- If you have the means, consider buying school supplies in bulk and donating the extras to your school
- Contact local after-school programs and see what items they most need
- Contact local nonprofits focused on education opportunities like the Literacy Council of West Alabama
If you do donate school supplies, please be considerate and only donate new or lightly used items unless otherwise requested.
Teachers, school librarians, after-school programs and reading programs are always on the hunt for books for students. Some ways to donate:
- Reach out to your children’s former teachers, school administrators or school system
- Contact a local reading program like The House Tuscaloosa or after-school programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama
- Donate to Tuscaloosa Public Library’s Friends of the Library bookstore
Children grow quickly, meaning back-to-school clothes will be too small before long. If you have children’s clothes still in good condition, here’s how you can donate and get them into the hands of those who need them:
- Many schools and school systems keep clothing available for students in need. Contact your local school system for details on how you can donate
- Items most often needed include winter jackets and accessories, socks and underwear
- Donate to a local organization providing clothing directly to people in need, like Turning Point of West Alabama or Temporary Emergency Services.
Schools and children-focused programs are always looking for volunteers. If you’ve got a few hours to spare, you can help change some lives.
- Check with your local school or school system for volunteer opportunities
- Join a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters or Read Bama Read
While diamonds are a girl’s best friend, most organizations supporting children’s needs prefer cold, hard cash. Oftentimes, monetary donations can go further than items themselves because nonprofits can use that money and buy exactly what they need in bulk quantities at wholesale prices.
If you’re more interested in handing over money for direct support, many school districts around West Alabama participate in the Neighborhood Bridges program. Teachers and school administrators build lists for individual students or families with their needs, and donors can put their money toward whoever they’d like.
For example, in Tuscaloosa City Schools:
- A teen girl needs help getting clothes
- Several TCS students need help paying off their lunch balance
- A student’s family needs help paying the student’s medical bills
Other local student-focused organizations always looking for support include: