How To Host A School Supply Drive

With proper resources at their disposal, students find the confidence to return to school day in and day out. Teachers, too, are empowered to do their best work when they are supported by the resources they need to maintain effective, equitable learning environments.

By hosting a supply drive, you can level the playing field in underserved schools.

Already have supplies collected? Complete the supply drive donation form. We're proud to offer free shipping from anywhere in the country for boxes under 50lbs!

Hosting a school supply drive requires the dedication of time, energy, and effort to mobilize a group’s efforts.

Here are the aspects of your supply drive to determine before you get started:

Type of drive:

  • Collect supplies only 
  • Collect supplies + financial support (designated for supplies)
  • Collect financial support only designated for supplies (online and/or in-person)

Method of collection:

  • One-day event
  • Designated timeframe of collection (week/month/etc.)

Additional collection ideas:

  • A one-day event in which donations are brought to one location to fill a school bus/large truck.
  • A week or month-long collection with barrels or boxes in stores, businesses, and highly trafficked areas where items can be dropped off.

Tips for Success

How do you want to collect supplies? Two popular options include:

  • A designated day, week, or month-long collection with barrels or boxes in stores and businesses
  • A one-day event in which the community brings donations to fill a school bus or a large truck or supplies are collected in conjunction with a corporate, community, or sporting event

Who will you invite to participate? Engage the corporations, businesses, and individuals in your community who will help promote and support your project. Share details about your drive in your social media spaces. Issue a press release about your drive and follow up with local media about running your story. Create signs and posters to promote your drive.

Collect what students need most​. ​Kids In Need Foundation is grateful to accept all new school supplies. According to teachers, crayons, glue sticks, markers, notebooks, pencils, and pens are what they need most. Please avoid any used school supplies or items that have offensive words, artwork, or symbols on the packaging or surface.

Try a friendly competition! ​Create competitions among businesses, departments, and individuals to see who can collect the most supplies.

Ship or deliver your collected supplies. ​When your supply drive is complete, simply click here ​to complete a supply drive donation form. On the form you will see two options for delivering your supplies to students:

  • You can ship your supply drive products, free of charge, with a special shipping label courtesy of our generous partner, Zappos, and its Zappos for Good campaign. All collected supplies will be shipped to Kids In Need Foundation at no cost to you and distributed to students and teachers from underserved schools at no cost to them. Simply box up the collected supplies, print and attach a unique label for as many boxes as you have (50 lbs limit per box), and drop your boxes off at any UPS shipping location. Your donation will be on the way to making a difference in the lives of students! Click here for details.

Follow-up! ​Send thank-you letters to all who supported your drive, letting them know how much their support means. Let them know how many supplies were collected and how many students will be able to participate in their classroom activities because of your school supply drive.

Tell the Story

Kids In Need Foundation's (KINF) believes that every child in America deserves equal opportunity and access to a quality education. Teachers remain the key to unlocking a student's potential in the classroom as a stepping stone to the rest of their life.

The Need. More than 30 million students are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), receiving meals through school at a discount or for free. For these students, school supplies are a luxury. Many arrive at school without a single pencil or notebook, unable to participate in day-to-day lessons and activities.

Show the Connection. When asked about the impact that access to free school supplies has students, educators reported the following:

  • 95%: Access to free supplies is critical to creating a more equal learning environment for students.
  • 91%: Increase in preparedness
  • 83%: Significant increase in participation
  • 78%: Significant increase in student self-esteem