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Operation Backpack And School Supplies | How To Help Make Going Back to School Fun

Updated on December 2, 2014
Every Child Deserves A Chance
Every Child Deserves A Chance

It's that time of the year when students are preparing to go back to school after a long holiday and there's the need to go shopping for those much needed school supplies. That is, Operation Backpack And School Supplies.

Unfortunately, for a lot of those students, whether elementary, middle, high school, or college age, going back to school may end up being a very sad event. Not because they hate school and would rather stay home and continue a never ending summer break, but because many of these children come from homes where one or both parents are unemployed, and they just can't afford their kid's back to school supplies.

We all know that going back to school always come with its ritual. Kids love it when they can get those new clothes, shoes, and school supplies. And has anyone noticed the never ending lists of school supplies that parents are required to get this year?

Many public elementary to high school back-to-school lists is longer than what most colleges require, with everything that's needed and most of what is not, including dry erase markers. These list are bound to get even longer with increasing government cuts to education. As it is, many school kids starts their first week of back-to-school with just the bare necessities as the list is long and many can't afford to get it all at once.

Why Most Kids Go Back To School With Little Or No School Supplies

Most kids go to school today with little to nothing, because many can't afford the backpacks and school supplies needed. For those of us who still have a job, or a least have a means of supporting our family, going back to school expenses could be a lot daunting if I may say. It could easily cost between $350 to $500 per child to cover all expenses like clothes, shoes, and school supplies. So you can imagine what it must feel like for a kid whose parent or parents are unemployed, knowing you may not get those new clothes, shoes, or school supplies you need.

Why should I care? Because, it's the right thing to do. And because it's in giving that we are blessed even more. Also, you'll be happier for it. If you've been blessed with enough, it may just be so you can bless others. Why not your neighbor?

The sad thing is many of us would rather give money to so called charity organizations who misappropriate our money and use it for something totally different than its intended purpose. Giving into the life of your neighbor is an opportunity to do something you know, without any doubt, will truly bless another soul.

How To Help Needy Families With School Supplies

Ask Your Neighbor If They Need Help

It may be an awkward situation asking your neighbor about their financial situation. But if your neighbor has been out of work. Chances are, they do need your help. And if they know that you're sincere and truly concerned. It should be easy. So, go ahead and ASK.

Once you've determined that your neighbor does need a little help with their kid's going back to school list, approach your neighbor, letting them know that you are aware of their situation and expressing to him or her that you're willing to help them out.

You can then ask to be furnished with the list. The goal is to help as much as possible to ease the burdens. So if it means getting others involved to pitch in and help with the list or lists, then that's exactly what you should do. That brings me to this next idea.

Get Others Involve In The Giving - Getting others involve in your bid to help is actually very easy to do. You already have a good cause, all you need is the determination and the heart to help and do whatever it takes. Here's a few hints on where to get started:

How To Organizing A Back To School Supply Drive

Getting others involved in giving back may be another way to help get a needy child or family, all or some of the school supplies they need. Starting your own Operation Backpack And School Supplies drive may be your way of helping out some less fortunate kids. Here are some ideas to help with organizing a back to school supply drive:

Get Neighborhood Businesses To Contribute - Most neighborhood businesses love the idea of helping out in the community where they do business. Neighborhood car dealers, small business owners, Physicians' Practice, restaurants, and other local businesses are potential candidates. They can donate money towards this cause or give gift cards that can then be given to the deserving family or families to help them cover some or all of their kids back-to-school expenses.

Get Your Church To Organize A Neighborhood Outreach - Every year, many churches across the United States set a day or two aside before the beginning of the school year to give back to their community. They give away backpacks filled with essential school supplies. It's a great way to give a helping-hand while sharing the love of Christ. Individuals can do this too.

Do You Believe Operation Backpack Does Any To Help Families in Need?

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Get Your Neighbors Involve In The Giving - and so can you as an individual. Organize a neighborhood drive. Then, distribute collected supplies to families who need it most. Involving others individuals in the hope of giving to a family in need is always a good cause that everyone likes to be a part of.

Team Up With A Business or Organization That's Giving - More and more businesses are finding great ways to give back to schools and families in the communities where they do business. If you're not the type to organize a backpack give-away, you can donate to businesses, grocery and department stores that already has a program in place.

Wal-Mart stores and most popular grocery stores do have a back-to-school supplies drive every school year. They ask those who can afford it to donate school supplies, usually close to the beginning of another school year. Donation bins are left by the stores entrances and are then distributed to those families who need them. These businesses see this as a great way to give back to the community where they do business.

You can determine what school supplies is needed by contacting your local school district for a copy of the school supply lists. Most schools have a copy of the lists on the school's website. Here is a general list for schools:

Elementary School Supply List

Essential List
Wish List
24 Count crayons (1 box)
Skinny dry erase markers (black)
Glue Sticks (2)
Color construction paper
Number 2 pencils (2 packs of 12)
Sandwich size ziplock bags
Spiral bound wide rule notebook paper (2 packs)
Erasers for the tops of pencils
3X5 white Index Cards (1)
Fiddle stick markers
Large Pink Erasers
Medium size bottle of hand sanitizer (no hand soap)
Backpack (if possible)
Facial tissues

Middle Schools Back To School Supply List

3 – 1” ring binders
1 – legal size legal pad
2 – packs of Dividers with Tabs
2 – Composition notebooks
8 – 15 Three-3 pronged pocket folders
4 – Single subject spiral notebooks
3 – Dry erase markers
Colored pencils
Pens – Black/Blue and Red (math)
Index Cards
Loose leaf paper
Graph paper

Don't Forget The Backpack!

Back To School List To Avoid

To make the cash or gift cards contributions go a long way, these are some stuffs to avoid putting on the back-to-school list:

  • Expensive pens or pencils, regular ones will do.
  • Name brand notebooks, and writing tools.
  • Items that never get used or are usually supplied by the school, such as, calculators, sharpeners etc.
  • Avoid name brand clothing items, uniform, school bags, shoes etc.

Following this simple steps is a sure way to save some money for the needed school supplies.

School Supplies For High School Students

For High School Supply List, you may need to contact the school as the list varies from school to school.

Do you have a neighbor or neighbors who's lost his or her job recently, or maybe even over the summer holiday? Do they have school age kids? If they do, you might be able to help your neighbor out by picking up the tab for those school supplies.

Like A Good Neighbor, Be There!


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Author: Comfort Babatola - ©2013


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    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      thehemu & trusouldj - This is becoming a growing problem in our society. And with many more families losing their livelihood each year, it's growing on a large scale. The hope is to get people to organize a way to give back within their community.

      Thank you both for taking the time out to read this hub.

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 3 years ago from Indiana

      This is wonderful that you have shared this. Keep up the good work.

    • thehemu profile image

      thehemu 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Really it is very sad event to go college after sundays, it is like what the heck is going on? but you need to do it.

      thanks for sharing such great hub and a vote up from my side.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Thank you (marellen & SpiffyD). We are experiencing a great number of families who are struggling all around us. We need to help them out. It's the least we can do.

    • SpiffyD profile image

      SpiffyD 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      This hub sheds light on an issue that is forgotten or not considered by those who experience it. It is in giving tat we receive indeed. Fine hub.

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      I recently had an act of kindness bestowed on me and passing this act along is what I did. I think you have a wonderful suggestion...neighbors should be helping each other. I also notice that Walmart has a place in their store so people can donate school supplies. That is also a nice gesture.