Back-to-School Philanthropy—How to Support a Student in Need
Posted on 08/20/2012
Though your parched plants and almost-empty bottle of sunscreen suggest otherwise, the weather’s getting the teensiest bit cooler. And parents know firsthand that kids are getting the teensiest bit bored at home. As local parks departments drain pools and schools air out musty lockers, we can feel what’s coming.
A new school year is nearly here. And a new school year means new opportunities for charity. Many people are shocked when they find out how many students in their schools—even their children’s classmates—rely on the charity of others to fill their backpacks and even their bellies.
Here are our ideas for how you can support the low-income students in your local schools.
Donating non-perishable goods to your local soup kitchen or food pantry is a good idea at any time of the year. But if you want to helps students specifically, contact the schools in your area. Some schools provide breakfast and dinner to students who otherwise wouldn’t eat at home. Cook for the kids in your community one or two mornings a week.
Maybe the school day isn’t your students’ problem. Maybe weekends are harder. Some schools send students home with backpacks full of food to share with their families. Ask your school if you can contribute to their weekend meals. Start your own weekend meal plan if they haven’t already.
Participate in—or organize—school supply drives in your community. Donate graphing calculators or other gently used items your kids don’t use anymore. You can even donate your family’s old computer or textbooks to the school library—it’s the sole homework resource for many your learners.
Buttons and Hems
Schools that require uniforms almost always collect gently used ones that they can distribute to low-income families. Launder your kids’ too-small plaids and button-downs then give them to their less fortunate classmates. Donate gently used clothes to your local thrift store if you don’t have uniforms to spare. You’ll help the students in your neighborhood stay warm as the weather cools.
Changing seasons are inspiring because they remind us of different groups who rely on our help. Let the coming autumn inspire you to help students in your community this week.