Kids In Need National Network Summit

Thank you to all who attended the 2015 National Network Summit, hosted by the Atlanta Community Food Bank and sponsored by Dixon Ticonderoga. Check back for information and registration for our 2016 National Network Summit in Dallas, hosted by North Texas Teacher Resource Center. We can’t wait to see you there!


What is the purpose of the Summit?

The Summit is a means of exchanging ideas and information about operating a free store for teachers. It is an arena for exchanging best practices, solving problems, bragging a little bit about successes, and gaining new insight into the challenges of operating a store.

Who attends the Summit?

  • Staff and volunteers of free stores for teachers from all across the U.S.
  • Individuals who are in the midst of establishing local free stores for teachers
  • Individuals who are thinking about starting local free stores for teachers

Whether it’s at a workshop or during informal conversations with fellow attendees, the following are some of the topics that have been covered during previous events:

  • Innovations in Supply Chain
  • Marketing Strategies for Non Profits
  • Public Relations
  • Branding
  • Merchandising
  • Fundraising/Innovative Grant Writing
  • Sustainability, Growth, & Development
  • Governance
  • Measureable Results
  • Advocacy
  • Networking Meals
  • Free Store School

If I attend, what do I have to do?

As a participant in the Summit, we hope you will come prepared to talk and to listen. The Summit is an informal gathering where you will feel free to offer information based on your own experiences and ask questions based on your own needs. The value of the Summit is to hear how others are doing things and to share your expertise with the other attendees.

What topics are most frequently discussed?

Uppermost in everyone’s minds are fundraising and product procurement. However, other relevant topics are discussed; for instance, merchandising the store, marketing and public relations, volunteer recruitment and management, and inventory control always come up during the course of the two-day event. If there is not a scheduled time for topics in which you are interested, there are always opportunities to bring up topics in conversations at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or during your free time with the other attendees.

What if I am new to the free store world? Will I fit in?

Absolutely. What everyone at the Summit has in common is the dedication to providing free school supplies to kids and teachers who need them. Even if you have never attended a Summit before, you immediately fit in because of this common mission.

To receive information about the next Summit, contact Jennifer Lehman at