2019 List of School Supply Drives in Austin, Central Texas
Thanks to Givingcityaustin.com we can share everything you need to know to find the best nonprofit to benefit from your school supply drive. Plus, a few tools to help you give better. And new this year, a whole new way to give gently used school supplies.
But again – first – let’s update you on why it’s so important to donate school supplies. Back to school is expensive for most Central Texas families. Here’s why:
A family of four that makes $867 a week is considered “low-income”. That means they qualify for a free or reduced lunch. (The regular price of lunch is $2.90. Reduced lunch is 40 cents.)
In Central Texas, 44 percent of all students are considered low-income. In AISD, it’s 53%. In Del Valle it’s 87%.
The average cost of school supplies is $45 per student, not counting clothes, shoes, laptops. The National Retail Federation says the average spend per household for back-to-school shoppers was $668 in 2017.
Teachers spend an average of $656 per year on classroom supplies, out of their own pockets, according to the Texas State Teachers Association. And by the way, the average salary of a Central Texas teacher was $50,924 in 2019, according to the E3 Alliance.
In other words, students and teachers in Central Texas are barely scraping by on supplies. More often, they go without. We say this every year, but it bears repeating: Your donation of dollars and/or supplied is extremely meaningful.
Want to make the most impact? Follow these four suggestions:
- Give money. Monetary donations are better than donations of actual school supplies. Many of these organizations like For The Children can purchase school supplies in bulk, so your donation of $20 will go a lot further.
- Give supplies you have. That being said, if you have a crate of glue sticks to unload, by all means donate them. Remember that name brands count for some teachers and schools, so if you can spring for the Crayola brand, that helps. Just remember to donate a gift, not a burden. And it’s best to give directly to a school or teachers, in this case. See No. 3 below.
- We heard that a new Austin nonprofit called uSupplies.org is collecting and distributing donated, lightly-used and new school supplies. They’re run entirely by volunteers, so you can donate and also help by collecting donations in June/July and distributing school supplies throughout AISD in August. If donating is easier, all donations go directly to the purchase of collection bins and supplies for teachers.
- Give to a teacher or school directly. If you miss one of these school supply drives, consider giving directly to a school. Most schools offices open back up the second week of August for teacher orientations and trainings. Call the office in the morning to ask about when you can drop them off.
(Also parents, if you can swing it, try giving a gift card to Wal-Mart/Target/HEB at the beginning of the year to help your teachers set up their classrooms right.)
- Volunteer. While your group really wants to collect a big pile of school supplies, you might also consider signing up for distribution days. Lots of opportunities below.
- Host a school supply drive. Everyone loves to pitch in for a school supply drive at the office. Make sure you launch it 2-3 weeks before the deadline – as early in July as possible – and promote it the whole time. It takes more promotion than you think, so get the word out via email, flyers, and on the company intranet. You might have a supply drop-off point or even and event, and serve pizza to celebrate. For more about organizing group volunteer events, click here.
This full information was collected and edited directly by Givingcityaustin team. We are just sharing a little extract from the full information, so if you’re interested to know more and get a full list of Central Texas School Supply Drives, please go to their website clicking here!
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