Frequently Asked Questions

How can we help you?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we help you?
kids asking questions

Who We Are

What does your organization do?

While education is a large ecosystem, we focus on contributors to student absenteeism. Absenteeism has emerged as a powerful indicator of a student’s likelihood to drop out before finishing high school. Many factors contribute to student absenteeism, but the one main area we can do something about is lack of basic school supplies and resources. In our 25 years, we have distributed more than $1 billion in supplies to kids who would otherwise go without.

What is your mission? 

By partnering with teachers and students in under-resourced schools, we provide the support needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn.

What are your programs?

The Kids In Need Foundation operates four key programs to help facilitate our efforts so that all students have access to quality school supplies to learn and succeed:

  • Second Responder®: Provides school supplies to students affected by natural disasters.
  • School Ready Supplies: Through community sponsorships, this program provides pre-assembled, pre-filled backpacks filled with essential school supplies, sponsor pre-filled backpacks to designated schools, or deliver bulk supplies to hosted backpack-building events.
  • Supply A Teacher: This program seeks to remove the financial hardship from teachers to provide necessary supplies in under-resourced schools
  • National Network of Resource Centers: We partner with resource centers across the country to distribute school supplies to children who would otherwise go without.

How do you distribute your products?

Our products are distributed by our National Network of Resource Centers, which mostly serves students in challenged communities where 70% or more of the kids are on a federal nutrition program, and through our Second Responder® program, which provides school supplies to students affected by natural disasters.

What type of partners do you work with to execute your mission?

We partner with generous brands, companies, and individuals who understand the need to give back and make sure all kids start school ready to learn. Check out our partners page to see the entire list.

Who We Serve

Can KINF donate school supplies directly to my children?

The Kids In Need Foundation partners with resource centers across the country where teachers go to get school supplies for their students. Please contact your child’s school and connect with the school social worker.

My students attend charter schools; do you have options for them as well?  

The resource centers mostly serve schools in their local communities where 70% or more of the kids are on a federal nutrition program. Please check to see if there is a resource center in your area that supports your school.

Can you send my homeschooled children school supplies?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer materials to homeschools at this time, as the Kids In Need Foundation partners with our National Network of Resource Centers to provide free supplies directly to teachers and schools.

I’m a teacher. How do I apply to receive school supplies?

Teachers can receive products via our resource centers or by applying for Supply A Teacher boxes.

How do I get school supplies from a Resource Center?

Each resource center operates under its own unique guidelines for distributing school supplies. Most support challenged communities where 70% or more of the kids are on a federal nutrition program. Please contact the resource center closest to you to find out how to shop.

Can I get school supplies for my students if my school is not near a Resource Center?

We encouraged teachers from schools not serviced by the National Network of Resource Centers to apply for Supply A Teacher boxes. We accept applications throughout the year.

Will KINF donate school supplies to my supply drive?  

We happily encourage school supply drives and offer support through best practices and printable poster and banner ideas. Check out our DIY School Supply Drive tips if you need help getting started. At this time, we are not able to provide supplies directly to you, as our school supplies are delivered to teachers and schools through our existing programs.

Will KINF donate or accept school supplies internationally?

While we know there is a great need for school supplies in many parts of the world, our foundation only serves students in the continental United States where the need is still so great. We suggest reaching out to World Vision, one of our partner organizations, for international assistance.

Can I get school supplies for the low-income families at the social service agency I work for?

Each resource center has its own way of distributing school supplies. Please contact the resource center closest to you to see if supplies may be available.

I asked one of your partner organizations for a donation and they told me to contact you. Can I get donations from you?

We partner with a number of organizations that donate supplies to help keep our resource center shelves stocked so teachers can shop for free. If you are a teacher, we encourage you to contact the resource center closest to you and confirm if your school is eligible to participate. Teachers from schools not serviced by the National Network of Resource Centers are encouraged to apply for Supply A Teacher boxes.

Partnering & Donations

How can my organization partner with Kids In Need Foundation to donate backpacks and supplies?

Our School Ready Supplies program gives organizations, community groups, individuals, and teams the opportunity to support underserved communities financially and through backpack-building. First, choose how many students your organization would like to support. Then select your preferred donation type: you can host your own backpack-building event or have KINF deliver pre-assembled backpacks on your behalf.  Learn more about this program here.

How can my company donate to KINF?

Your organization can donate to us by:

  • Donating product, gifts-in-kind, or cash
  • Sponsoring a backpack build through our School Ready Supplies or Second Responder® programs
  • Holding a school supply drive
  • Volunteering at a resource center

Learn about the numerous ways to give here, and ways to get involved here.

How can my organization donate surplus product?

We could not do what we do every day without generous partners who keep our shelves fully stocked with core supplies. Donations of inventory or surplus supplies may be eligible for tax relief, and we are happy to discuss discontinued product, excess inventory, and product donation partnerships. Be sure to fill out our product donation form and adhere to our donation guidelines. If you are interested in donating smaller quantities, in boxes up to 50 lbs, free shipping may be available thanks to our partnership with Zappos for Good.

How do I donate financially to KINF?

You can donate easily and securely on our website, or you can mail a check to us at 2719 Patton Road, Roseville, MN 55113.

Can I donate printing, shipping or other in-kind service donations to your organization?

Absolutely, we would love to talk more about what you are willing to contribute. Contact us to learn more or send us an email at info@kinf.org.

Do you support recognized 501(c)(3) charities in the USA?

The Kids In Need Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we partner with members of the National Network of Resource Centers and with schools and school districts to distribute supplies.

Volunteering

How can I volunteer with KINF?

All of our resource centers nationwide operate with the help of dedicated volunteers eager to make an impact. Learn more about volunteering here or by contacting your nearest resource center.

Can you help us start a club at my high school that holds school supply drives?

We love to encourage school supply drives! We’ve developed a School Supply Drive Toolkit to get you started with ideas and suggestions for how to make your drives successful. Be sure to fill out our participation and donation forms so we can make arrangements for your supplies to be delivered to one of our affiliate resource centers. You can also ship them for free directly to our headquarters when your boxes weigh 50 lbs or less, thanks to a generous partnership with Zappos for Good. When you share your drive on social media, be sure to tag us @KidsInNeed and use #ItsMoreThanJustABackpack so we can send you some love and help encourage participation.

How can we connect on social media?

We love hearing from you! Spread our mission with your network by posting photos of you volunteering, shopping, or using your school supplies in the classroom. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and check out our hashtags #ItsMoreThanJustABackpack and #TeacherSupplyBoxes.