You can provide students in need with a brighter start and more confidence by giving them the same supplies as the other kids in their class. Will you give to United Way’s back-to-school backpack program?
Why school supplies? Because buying all of the required supplies for one child can easily exceed $100, an amount out of reach for many of our Missoula neighbors. When parents are choosing between providing their children with new sneakers or paying the electric bill, new backpacks – and even crayons or pencils – can become an impossible luxury. We know that learning is easier when kids feel as confident and well prepared as their peers.
To ensure that backpacks filled with school supplies are given to students who most need them, this year, we’re partnering with the Centers for Family Resources inside of Missoula County Public Schools. This way, school faculty who know each family will ensure that kids most in need of support receive the backpacks. (We are also partnering again with the Salvation Army of Missoula by supporting the Back to School Bash family event in August, where families connect with community resources, and benefit from back-to-school haircuts, books, and other tools – but the filled backpacks will be distributed through the school-based family resource centers.)
Through bulk, wholesale and nonprofit discounts, United Way is able to purchase the necessary supplies, along with a new backpack, for about one-third of the retail price. We hope to supply 800 children in August when school starts.
It costs relatively little for us to provide a child with a new, fully-stuffed backpack: about $29 for an elementary-school student; $31 for a middle-school student; and $19 for a high-school student.
These sponsors are providing school supplies, changing students' lives this year!