My family and I recently moved to the city of St. Louis and have had the pleasure of experiencing great diversity, weather (for the most part), and just an overall amazing atmosphere. However, with these things came local schools that are not as well-funded as the ones we are used to. Our schools were top rated and never had a shortage of funds, clubs, sports, etc. At our new school, the majority of kids are on the free lunch program, and the funding is short. Up until this year, the school wasn’t even accredited because of the low test scores (and other reasons, I’m sure). We took for granted how easy it was for us to get school supplies, and everyone coming to school with a new backpack, supplies, and shoes was just a fact of life.
When we realized how many kids didn’t bring school supplies, we also realized that meant the financial burden fell on the teachers. Teaching in a barely accredited city school most likely doesn’t pay very well, and even if it did, why should they have to spend their money on supplies? Someone has to pick up the slack, but when we looked around to find out who it was going to be, nobody was left standing. That’s when we knew we had to do something to help! When I reached out to my friends locally, I didn’t get much of a response. Everyone’s kids are starting school so they’re strapped for cash, too. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to think of something!
I created an event on Facebook for my #BagItForward campaign with Elmer’s and Wal-Mart. I asked people to mail me school supplies, meet me with school supplies, or donate via paypal so I could purchase school supplies in their name.
I talked to each of the girls’ teachers and asked them what they needed. All three said they needed Kleenex and Germ-X, and the Kindergarten and 2nd grade teachers said they needed crayons, markers, pencils, etc.
We collected donations for a few days and were overwhelmed at the generosity of complete strangers!! We ended up having a HUGE bucket of supplies donated, as well as three big bags! We also collected some cash from friends across the country.
My girls and I headed to Wal-Mart to pick up the school supplies that the teachers requested. Check out our shopping trip on Google +! I was going to make a school supply “cake”, but ended up purchasing MORE than needed and figured it’d be best to just donate them in bags. It is called #BagItForward, afterall. When we got to Wal-Mart, the first thing we noticed when we walked in was the huge Elmer’s display for school supply lists. On the side of the display was a QR Code to scan and download the Elmer’s 1st Day App Download for FREE! We learned at Bagitforward.org that using the 1st Day App will help drive donations to Kids In Need Foundation, so of course we used it right away!
For every picture uploaded to the1stday.com, Elmer’s will donate one product to the Kids In Need Foundation, an organization that distributes free school supplies to students whose families can’t afford them.
Virtual Service Party!
We all got together and took photos of some of the supplies we were donating. Supplies were on their way from as far as Arizona, Florida, and Maine! I was so thankful to see everyone come together to donate supplies to kids in need.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and and Elmer’s. #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric