Kids In Need Foundation Teams with Walgreens for National School Supply Drive
July 29-Aug. 18
Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a national, non-profit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is teaming up with Walgreens to help lift the burden off of parents, students and teachers who are trying to prepare for the new school year.
From July 29 through Aug. 18, customers can donate new school supplies and classroom needs at any in-store collection bin as part of the Walgreens Back to School Supply Drive. Needed items include paper, crayons, scissors, pencils, glue, markers, folders and erasers. The drugstore chain offers many must-have items for school supply needs where customers can conveniently pick up items to donate. With more than 7,900 stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, these supplies will reach thousands of students.
Walgreens is also a convenient and affordable shopping destination for more than the school supply list. On top of must-have items, the drugstore chain’s locations offer important health services including immunizations. Take Care Clinics, located at select Walgreens locations, offer back-to-school and sports physicals as well as immunizations.
“Walgreens is committed to helping the communities we serve and this school supply drive is one more meaningful way we can help ease the stress on parents and teachers who may be struggling with making ends meet,” said John Gremer, Walgreens director of community affairs. “With the help of our stores, employees and customers, we can all work together to help thousands of students have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”
According to a November 2011 New York Times article, all 50 states have reported significant increases in the number of children enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program, an indicator of the poverty level of families in the U.S. Eleven states had increases of more than 25 percent over the past four years, the highest increase in enrollment ever.
“This is a massive project that will help alleviate a massive problem. More than 14.8 million students in the United States live at or below the poverty line. When families are trying to overcome severe economic reverses, school supplies are not at the top of their necessity lists. To make matters worse, most school budgets no longer allocate for basic supplies,” said Dave Smith, executive director, Kids In Need Foundation. “We applaud Walgreens for this great effort. Working with them will help provide the school supplies to those students who would otherwise have to do without. In essence, this is another way Walgreens and its customers and communities can help those in need.”
Kids In Need Foundation has 27 resource centers across the country. Here, teachers from low-income schools can “shop” for free school supplies for their students and for other classroom supplies and teaching aides. At the end of the national school supply drive, these centers will collect donated supplies from area Walgreens locations.
“Boys and girls tell us things like ‘this is the first box of crayons I ever had’ or ‘I gave the notebook you gave me to my sister because she’s older than me and she never had a notebook before,’” said Smith. “When you receive a thank you letter or drawing from students who receive the free supplies we provide, you find these children have a true appreciation for what they’ve received. School supplies of their very own are precious to them.”