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Back-to-School Backpack Program 2020

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.  This year, students will have added challenges--more online learning, more complicated schedules. You can make sure they have the supplies they need to navigate the challenges this new school poses. 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. This year, that also means masks and han sanitizer included.
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 700 children in August when school starts.
It costs relatively little for us to provide a child with a new, fully-stuffed backpack:  about $39 for an elementary-school student; $35 for a middle-school student; and $27 for a high-school student.