Our Mission - Kids in Need Foundation

Our Mission

The Kids In Need Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.

For the 12 million kids who come from families struggling with extreme poverty in the United States, getting school supplies can make all the difference in the world to their future success. How can a kid be expected to succeed in the classroom without the basic tools to learn?

Foundation studies* show that when kids have new school supplies of their own:

  • Classroom behavior, participation, and engagement improve
  • Self-esteem increases
  • Attitudes toward school and learning strengthen

In 2018, the Kids In Need Foundation helped nearly 200,000 teachers and more than 6 million students in some of the most challenged communities across the country. In our 25 years, we have distributed a billion dollars in supplies to kids who would otherwise go without them.

Learn more about the Kids In Need Foundation and our mission with our 2018 Impact Report.

Who We Help

“When families have to choose between food and school supplies, your support enables me to reduce some of their worry. You allow me to provide tools to further success, encourage expression, and create an equal education for all my students.”

–From a teacher in Houston, TX


When families can barely afford rent and groceries, school supplies just can’t be a priority. For these students struggling with extreme poverty, we can offer school supplies. We serve students at U.S. schools where at least 70% of students are enrolled in the federal free or reduced lunch program. Students receive supplies from the Kids In Need Foundation via school distribution events through our School Ready Supplies program and, for those affected by natural disasters, our Second Responder® program.


On average, teachers spend $564 per year from their own pockets on school supplies for their classrooms. We serve teachers at U.S. schools where at least 70% of students are enrolled in the federal free or reduced lunch program. Teachers can receive supplies from the Kids In Need Foundation via a variety of programs. We manage an affiliate network of 43 Teacher Resource Centers across the country where teachers can go to shop for free for school supplies. We also offer an annual application for Classroom Supply Boxes through our GiftATeacher.org program which provides successful applicants with boxes containing the most essential school supplies — from notebooks and markers to pens and glue – supplies for an entire classroom for an entire semester.  For teachers at schools affected by natural disasters, our Second Responder® program also delivers materials to help recover and return a sense of normalcy. Additional supplies are provided through assorted distribution partners in limited geographies.

In our efforts to maintain fidelity to our mission, The Kids In Need Foundation provides supplies through schools and school-affiliated organizations, serving students with demonstrable need. Teachers and students looking for direct support from KINF are advised to have their school administration contact KINF at info@kinf.org to find a program best suited to their needs.  We regret that at this time we are unable to provide supplies directly to home schooling families, individuals, or persons outside of the United States. 

Have questions? Send us a message here.

*The 2018 Kids In Need Foundation School Supply Impact Survey of more than 12,000 teachers nationwide in low-income communities on how access to free school supplies has impacted their classroom and students.

When families struggle financially, school supplies just can't be a priority. In 2018, we directly supported more than 6 million students with new supplies.

Support a Child

Our Network

    COVID-19 and how you can help

    The needs of the students we serve haven’t disappeared because their schools have closed, in fact, they’ve gotten more severe. Right now, millions of children across the U.S. are lacking the basic tools they need to continue their education at home.

    Join us today, and your contribution will help supply and ship the most crucial distance learning items out to our students. No one should be left behind when it comes to their education.