Back to School can be extremely stressful for families in need, so as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, I gathered some school supplies to donate to the Boys & Girls Home of NC. In an effort to spread the word about Elmer’s Bag it Forward campaign, I want to tell you why this means so much to me, and what you can do to help join the cause.
Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t afford to buy school supplies for your kids? I’ve been there. There were things on The Nerd’s school supply list that sometimes had to go by the wayside.
That box of tissues I was supposed to send in? Whoops.
Hand sanitizer for the teacher’s desk? Nope.
Oh, you want Ziploc bags? Right. I could hardly afford to by baggies to put his lunch in!
Not. Gonna. Happen.
It’s not that I didn’t want to provide these things, it’s just that I literally had to choose between gas for my car to get him to school, and these “wish list” school supplies. I mean, it was sometimes all I could do to buy paper.
Luckily, I’m in a bit of a better situation now, but I never want to forget the road that brought me here. Without those struggles, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Sometimes, a person reaches out for help and you feel led to help them. That was the situation with me recently. A woman stepped out and asked for help getting some school supplies for her son in a Facebook group I’m part of for Raleigh moms. I immediately felt led to help her. She was a widow and single mom to her 1st grader.
I asked my local friends to donate school supplies or money to help me get her son some school supplies. The response was completely overwhelming. We more than got her school supplies donated, and a couple of friends reached out with money to help out as well. We raised enough money to get her son a new back to school wardrobe and enough for her to start her own jewelry business.
My icy heart is so warmed by having friends reach out and help a complete stranger. I love being able to help people, even if it just means that I ask others for help, or spend my time helping them work towards a goal.
That’s why when I heard that Champions for Kids and Elmer’s were participating in a #BagItForward campaign like the one I participated in last year, I absolutely had to participate. It came right on the heels of helping this widowed mom and I was on fire. I went to Walmart and bought four grocery bags full of school supplies to help families in need get the things that are sometimes a stretch for families to purchase.
I was able to get a backpack, a couple of calculators, a ruler, scissors, paper, composition notebooks, subject notebooks, pens, pencils, pencil pouches, folders, and antibacterial gel for less than $50 to donate.
I had one mom in need down, my own kid’s school supplies replenished (thank you, year-round school!), and I wanted to donate more to people in need. I immediately thought about The Boys & Girls Home of NC. I donated books & toys to their foster care program recently, and figured that foster families could always use some help in the school supply department.
You guys, paper is $0.50. There are some people who can’t afford more than the basics for their children to go back to school, but you can Bag it Forward with Elmer’s and Champions for Kids. Walmart offers boxes in the front of their stores where you can donate school supplies. You could find a family that you know is struggling, and buy some of the more expensive items on your neighborhood school’s school supply list. Shoot, you could even dust off that old TI-85 and donate it to a high schooler in need.
You really don’t have to look far to find places to donate. Your county’s social services department, or even your neighborhood school are great resources to find out where to donate items of all sorts. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America are another fantastic place to donate supplies.
Being the only kid in your class without the proper school supplies is rough. Sometimes The Nerd had to borrow someone else’s scissors and getting his work done was difficult. One year, he had those waxy, cheap crayons and he had the worst time writing and coloring with them. School is rough on kids as it is, let’s try to set these kids up to learn to love school and obtaining an education. A child’s love of school will take them so far in life.
I urge you to grab an extra pack of pencils, paper, crayons, or facial tissue next time you are at the store, and donate them to a local charity or family in need.
What other ideas do you have for giving back during this Back to School time of major stress?
Then learn more about the Bag it Forward campaign and find out how you can help!