Support Schoolhouse Supplies during back-to-school season

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Back-to-school season can be a relief for some parents — for obvious reasons — but for others, it can be rather stressful, as buying pencils, notebooks, and binders can really add up at the register.

Easing this burden is the mission of local nonprofit Schoolhouse Supplies, which has furthered educational equity in Portland-area public schools and across Oregon for 22 years. By providing free school supplies to students in need, the organization not only levels the playing field, it also keeps materials out of the landfill.

Here are ways you can help before the first school bells ring.

📒 KGW School Supply Drive

From now until Mon., Aug. 29, you can give cash or shop an online registry to have supplies sent directly to Schoolhouse Supplies. If you have brand new items, you can drop them off at any OnPoint Community Credit Union branch or with other community partners.

A teacher shops for free school supplies

On average, teachers spent $750 on school supplies from 2020-2021. | Photo via Schoolhouse Supplies

🍎 Free Store for Teachers

It goes without saying that educators represent the best of us, but unfortunately many of them have to restock their classrooms out of their own pockets. Those who work at schools in Portland’s five districts where 50% or more of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible to participate in this program.

✏️ Tools for Schools

This program aims to fill the gaps caused by systemic disparities in various neighborhoods, creating a platform for academic success. To date, more than 190,000 back-to-school kits have been distributed; you can join this year’s packing event Tues., Aug. 23-Thurs., Aug. 25.

🤝 Other ways to contribute

Schoolhouse Supplies is run by a small staff of five, so it depends heavily on volunteers. Pitching in your time at collection events or to take inventory and stock the free store shelves is a big boost. Regular donation appointments to drop off gently used supplies will resume in September.

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