Helping kids get the school supplies they need: Organizations making a difference

Aug 12, 2019, 11:54 AM by Denali 

School kids

Starting a new school year is hard enough—it’s even harder when you don’t have the proper supplies. We want every child to have the opportunity to succeed, which is why we think it’s so important to ensure they are all prepared to take on the year. Here are some local organizations doing their best to give these kids what they need.

Helping Us Give School Supplies (HUGSS)

Event: HUGSS

 Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Time: 10 am – 6 pm

Location: East High School (4025 E. Northern Lights Blvd)

HUGSS is gearing up to distribute free supply filled backpacks to children on August 13th.  Grades K-12 enrolled in the Anchorage School District are welcome to participate.

If you’d like to volunteer, you can sign up here.

United Way of Mat-Su

Event: Day of Action: Stuff the Bus

Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Time: 10 am – 3 pm

Location: Curtis D Menard Sports Complex (1001 S Clapp St, Wasilla, AK)

United Way wants all students to walk into the new school year prepared to take on what comes. After all, it’s hard to make the next year a success when you start it unprepared.

This August 13th, they will be hosting their annual Day of Action: Stuff the Bus event. Students across the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District are invited to pick a backpack and fill it with the supplies they need. Each year, 1,000 kids receive backpacks at this event.

There will also be low-cost haircuts, school physicals, and immunizations on-site.

Salvation Army

Multiple student-focused donation drives are going on at Salvation Army this month. The first is Anchorage Coats for Kids, which collects new and gently used winter coats for children K-12. The drive lasts through August 23rd, and items can be donated at various sites listed on their website.

The second drive is for school supplies, and also lasts through the 23rd. Salvation Army will accept any item on the Anchorage School District supply list.

Items will be distributed to families after the donation drive is over, starting mid-September.

Do you want to make a difference with students this year?

There’s plenty of ways for you to get involved in the community, and not all of them involve donating school supplies during the back to school season. Organizations and teachers are looking for help year-round, and you could be the solution. Here are a few ways you can get started:

Support a classroom

Teachers everywhere set up profiles on donorschoose.org to get help with classroom projects. Some just require school supplies; others are trying to obtain fun tools to use with kids in school. You can search through local classrooms and see which project you’d like to support on their website.

Become a mentor

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great way to make an impact on the next generation. They are always looking for adults who will volunteer their time to mentor children. Each Big is assigned to a Little—a child between the ages of 6 and 16—who they hang out with over the course of a year. It just takes a few hours each week doing things you both enjoy. That could be getting pizza, taking a hike, or reading a book, anything will help you make a difference in their lives and become a positive role model.

Volunteer your time

Most of the organizations listed above, Salvation Army, United Way, and HUGSS, need volunteers to keep things going throughout the year. They run programs other than supply donation drives that still affect children, and still require help from the community. If you have a few free hours a week, you could look into helping out.

Ask local teachers

If your child is in school, an easy way to get involved is to ask their teacher if they need any help. Chances are, they do, and you could do anything from helping tutor in the classroom to collecting supplies for classroom projects. Otherwise, reach out to local schools and see what you can do.