You don’t have to go to school to do the math. Those crayons, spiral notebooks, glue sticks and more will cost you — about $200, on average, for each student in the house. Unfortunately, thousands of Dallas and Collin county students will start school without the proper supplies, a backpack or even money for lunch. But you can help. Education can help kids overcome poverty; you can set them up with the tools they need to learn.
Each year, 6 Stones hosts Operation Back 2 School to give 6,000 kids in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD a new backpack and school supplies. The organization buys customized bulk kits, but they do need money to support their efforts. A $30 donation gives one student everything they need to start the school year; $600 helps students in an entire classroom. If you’d rather give your time, sign up online to volunteer as a family (they need 1,000 helpers) to hand out these fully stocked backpacks on Aug. 12 from 9am–4pm.
Campus West, 209 N. Industrial Blvd., Bedford
To prepare the over 400 kids in their care for school this fall, ACH Child And Family Services is collecting new school clothes for kids in preschool through 12th grade. The goal is to give each child two complete outfits, including underwear and socks. Bring shirts, polos, jeans, khakis, backpacks or gift cards to Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Ross or Marshalls to the ACH Welcome Center Monday–Friday from 8am–5pm or give a monetary donation online by Aug. 9.
3712 Wichita St., Fort Worth
Every year, Allen Community Outreach parks Allen ISD school buses around town for families to fill with school supplies for kids in need in the district. Now through Aug. 8, shop for new spiral notebooks, hand sanitizer, erasers, watercolors, lunchboxes and lots more. (Check out the full list of supplies needed on the Allen ISD website.) Then bring the goods to any of the collection sites around town (a complete list of locations can be found online) daily from 9am–3:30pm.
801 E Main St., Allen
Donate new or gently used books to the AVANCE-Dallas Parent-Child Book Clubs, which teach low-income parents to read regularly and expressively with their young children age newborn to 3. The organization also helps these families expand their child’s age-appropriate library at home — with your contributions! Take books to the Dallas office, volunteer to be a book club aide at Pierce Early Childhood School in Irving, or help prepare activities for early childhood educators. Email volunteer coordinator Nancy Quirindongo at email@example.com for more information.
Avance-Dallas, 2060 Singleton Blvd., Suite 103, Dallas
There are a couple of ways to help kids go back to school when you partner with Big Brothers And Big Sisters (BBBS) of North Central Texas. You can donate funds directly to the Annual School Supply Drive through the BBBS website, host your own drive with donations dropped off to your local BBBS Monday–Friday from 9am–4pm (see sidebar) or volunteer at the backpack distribution event at the Dallas or Richardson offices. Parents join their kiddos to pass out supplies to families in need from 5–7pm on Aug. 17. The Richardson office also accepts donations Monday–Friday from 9am–4pm. At the Arlington office, volunteer with the kids (all ages welcome) to sort and stuff backpacks on Aug. 14 from 9–11:30am. In Irving, drop off supplies like wide-ruled paper, pre-sharpened colored pencils, nylon pencil bags and more Monday– Friday from 9am–4pm.
Dallas office, 450 E. John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 300, Irving; 972/573-2330
Fort Worth office, 205 W. Main St., Arlington; 469/248-4389
Irving office, 450 E. John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 300, Irving; 469/248-4389
Richardson office, 101 S. Coit Road, Suite 115, Richardson; 469/248-4389
West Dallas houses more families living in poverty without an education than anywhere else in Dallas. Every year, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand assists these children during the Back To School Beach Bash. Volunteers of all ages are needed Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8:30am–12:30pm to play games (some of which include water; dress accordingly), serve families lunch and distribute backpacks and supplies. Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
3906 N. Westmoreland, Dallas
Sort through piles of donated school supplies on Aug. 5 when volunteers with Buckner International’s Dallas office deliver the goods to kids living in foster care in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If you miss the event, you can drop off school supplies (erasers, binders, construction paper, etc.) and clothing and shoes (which must be new) at the main office year-round. You can also volunteer to treat the children in Buckner’s afterschool program to the movies, zoo, aquarium and more. To learn more about volunteering, email volunteer manager Lindsey Miller at lkmiller@ buckner.org or visit the website for details.
700 N. Pearl St., Suite 1200, Dallas
CASA of Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant Counties asks families to contribute to a list of in-kind donations for children living in protective care. Besides new backpacks and the requisite school folders, markers and composition books, these kids need coats, gloves, hats and scarves for the winter as well as sports equipment like soccer balls. (Call to get the most up-to-date needs.) Dallas CASA and CASA Of Denton County are also accepting new uniforms and shoes — all of which can be dropped off at the Dallas office on Swiss Avenue or the Denton office Monday–Friday from 8:30am– 5pm. And CASA of Collin County needs gift cards to Payless ShoeSource, Kohl’s, Office Depot and Office Max, Staples and Walmart as well as new threering binders, toiletries for kids transitioning to middle school and gently used graphing calculators. CASA of Tarrant County needs new backpacks and school supplies for elementary-age kids (check the district websites for detailed lists). Drop off markers, glue sticks and scissors along with gift cards to places such as Target, Walmart and Amazon Monday–Friday from 8:30am–5pm, but please call ahead before delivering.
Collin County, 101 E. Davis St., McKinney; 972/529-2272
Dallas County, 2757 Swiss Ave., Dallas; 214/827-8961
Denton County, 614 N. Bell Ave., Denton; 940/243-2272
Tarrant County, 101 Summit Ave., Suite 505, Fort Worth;
To help Tarrant County’s littlest ones prepare for kindergarten, donate art and school supplies like construction paper, washable markers, finger paint, glue sticks and chunky crayons to the Center For Transforming Lives, an organization that provides educational programs, safe housing, child care and more. Their three child development centers in Fort Worth and Arlington focus on literacy and school readiness. Aside from school supplies, the centers request balls, scarves, diapers, bubbles, board books, food coloring (for making Play-Doh!), baby wipes, tissues and more. Deliver donations at any of the three centers Monday–Friday from 8:30am–5:30pm.
512 W. Fourth St., Fort Worth
The parents of hospitalized kids often don’t have the time or spare cash to go supply shopping. Help by donating supplies to Children’s Health in Dallas. The list, found on the volunteer page of the website, includes boxes of No. 2 pencils, assorted construction paper, washable markers, lined paper, erasers and more. Fill out the donation form online before scheduling a delivery with the School Services Department.
1935 Medical District Drive, Dallas
The Christian Center of Fort Worth collects new notebooks, binders, pencils and more as well as new and gently used backpacks and school uniforms year-round to give to the children in their summer feeding program, which offers a hot meal to the kids who get a free lunch during the school year. Deliver donations to the church office (the door is always locked; be sure to knock) or to a Haltom City Fire Department station.
4301 NE 28th St., Fort Worth
Most kids look forward to getting new clothes for the start of school. Sadly, that’s not a reality for lots of North Texas grade schoolers. But Christian Community Action aims to change that, with your help. Contact the volunteer coordinator to enlist you and your kiddos to serve as personal shoppers (and purchasers) for kids in need. You’ll be assigned a day (Aug. 14, 16, 21 or 23) and time to meet the child and help them pick out an outfit at the Old Navy in Flower Mound. Can’t make any of the days? Make a monetary contribution online that will go toward purchasing Old Navy gift cards for these families.
Communities In Schools Greater Tarrant County needs rulers, map pencils, construction paper, zipper pencil pouches and new or gently used backpacks, among other things. (Check online for the list of items in high demand.) Before Aug. 20, deliver donations to The Virgin Olive Oiler Monday–Saturday 10am–6pm and Sunday 12–5pm.
The Virgin Olive Oiler, 76132 Overton Ridge Blvd., Suite 128, Fort Worth
On Aug. 19, the Community Enrichment Center's Refresh Birdville ISD will reach hundreds of families in need. They've already purchased the backpacks and supplies for 3,200 kids but need monetary donations to help offset the costs. A $30 gift gives one child a free backpack, school supplies, haircut, sports physical and eye exam. To donate or to volunteer (they need 500 adults) for the event on the 19th, visit their website.
6250 NE Loop 820, North Richland Hills
Donate a bundle of supplies to Community Partners of Dallas to help over 3,500 abused and neglected children start the school year off prepared. Purchase pencil pouches, erasers, highlighters, construction paper and backpacks (there’s a list of the most-needed supplies on the website) then drop them off at the Dallas, Richardson or Plano offices by Aug. 25.
Community Link’s Back to School Bash on August 12 gives kids age 4 and older in the Eagle Mountain- Saginaw and Lake Worth ISDs new backpacks filled with all the necessary supplies, access to a free farmers market, a free haircut, free eyeglasses (if needed), free books and more. Email email@example.com for a copy of the supply list, then deliver complete (as in, fully stocked) backpacks to one of the two Saginaw Fire Department stations by Aug. 8.
Station No. 1, 400 S. Saginaw Blvd., Saginaw
Station No. 2, 801 Basswood Blvd., Saginaw
Fill backpacks and distribute them to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence at Denton County Friends of The Family. The top five needs this year include colorful or character backpacks for all ages, scissors, dividers, compasses and protractors. Supplies need to be delivered to the outreach office in Corinth by Aug. 4, or you and your little ones can help assemble the backpacks Aug. 3–8. On pick-up day (Aug. 9), enlist your family to assist these kids in picking out the perfect backpack filled with goodies. Sign up online (limited availability for kids 12 and younger).
4845 S. Interstate 35 E., Suite 200, Corinth
Dozens of families living in cars or parks find their way to Family Gateway in downtown Dallas for food, shelter and support. After putting a roof over a family’s head, the organization enrolls the kids in school. Drop off needed items from the back-to-school list at the facility on St. Paul Street. The list includes backpacks (for all ages and genders), composition notebooks, heavy-duty pencil bags, yellow highlighters, wet wipes, three-ring binders and more. Wish you could do more? Tutor these kids after school, cook and serve a meal at the shelter or host a game night for the shelter’s kids. Monetary donations are also welcome. Visit the website to find a full list of needs and to fill out a volunteer application.
711 S. St. Paul St., Dallas
Food 4 Kids Plano provides weekend backpacks to kids experiencing chronic hunger in the Plano school district. Each week at the North Texas Food Bank’s warehouse in Dallas (Plano location coming 2018), children and families fill backpacks with shelf-stable food that’s ready to eat (meaning it doesn’t require a can opener or cooking). To help, sign up for distribution center shifts on the food bank website or contact director of communications Anna Kurian at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. While there, sign up for a shift on Plano Volunteer Day, specifically for Plano residents, on Sept. 21.
4500 S. Cockrell Hill Road, Dallas
Grab an extra backpack in the school supply aisle to fill with brandnew supplies for child refugees from Central Africa. These relocated families often have multiple children heading back to school with very little disposable income to fulfill supply list requirements. Drop off the stocked backpacks you create with your kids at Gracepoint Church in Coppell by Aug. 25. Visit the website for a list of the most-needed supplies.
GracePoint Church, 590 S. Denton Tap Road, Coppell
For a second year, Hope Supply Co., an organization aimed at helping North Texas’ homeless children, is hosting the Tools for School Drive, which ends Aug. 25. Collect plain backpacks (no characters) filled with everything from the list of supplies (which you can find online), or help as a family to assemble packs at the Dallas warehouse by contacting Liz Muth at email@example.com.
10480 Shady Trail, Suite 104, Dallas
Last year, Interfaith Ministries of Denton provided 1,500 students who rely on the free and reduced meal program with a new backpack, school supplies, two complete uniforms and a new pair of shoes. They’re hoping to help even more kids this year with your help. Deliver school supplies or $25 gift cards to clothing stores such as Walmart, Target, JCPenney and Finish Line to the Denton office by Aug. 11.
1109 N. Elm St., Denton
Place new school supplies, including pens, highlighters, coloring books and index cards (no crayons or anything that may melt) and canned foods with pop tops and dried goods (no canned meats, food in glass containers or homemade goodies) to any one of the 17 Little Free Pantries peppered throughout Denton County. Low income families visit the birdhouselike boxes and take whatever they need for free. If you’re interested in hosting a pantry on your property, visit the website for information. You’ll be responsible for the cost of materials to build the pantry (less than $100) and stocking it with supplies year-round.
This year, Mission Arlington aims to help over 10,000 students in need in Arlington ISD. The wish list, which can be found online, includes wide-rule notebook paper, crayons and three-prong pocket folders in red, green, yellow and blue only, among other items. Mission Arlington is also seeking volunteers of all ages to help organize the donations for distribution. Deliver any contributions to the Arlington office Monday–Saturday from 7am–7pm. Call to volunteer.
210 W. South St., Arlington
Help teachers help their students by organizing school supplies, hygiene kits and dried food packages at the North Texas Teacher Resource Center in Grand Prairie. Volunteers as young as 10 help unpack pallets of donations, sort them by category and stock the shelves for easy “shopping” when local teachers visit to grab supplies for the homeless, hungry and refugee students in their classrooms. Schedule a volunteer time with the partner coordinator by phone.
3325 Roy Orr Blvd., Suite 300, Grand Prairie
A hungry child is one that cannot focus in the classroom. Fill their bellies at Our Daily Bread in Denton. The community soup kitchen welcomes volunteers ages 8 and older and their parents to serve meals to hungry children Monday nights and Saturdays. Sign up for a serving shift online.
300 W. Oak St., Suite 100, Denton
Host a supply drive to collect new backpacks, school supplies and shoes for kids staying in SafeHaven’s shelters. Or donate gift cards to stores like Target, Kohl’s and Walmart so SafeHaven can buy them new clothes and shoes for school. Label all contributions “Shelter School Supplies” and deliver them to the Fort Worth or Arlington centers this month and throughout the year.
Berry Good Buys, 1701 W. Berry St., Fort Worth; 817/921-2793
Arlington Resource Center, 401 W. Sanford, Suite 1400, Arlington; 817/548-0583
Volunteer with your kids to take Northeast Tarrant County students ages 7–14 shopping at Kohl’s in Keller on Aug. 15 with Summer Santa. The organization gives each child $115 to spend, and it’s up to you and your kiddos to help these children pick out necessities and stretch that money as far as possible. At the end of the shopping spree, each child gets a free backpack, school supplies, age-appropriate books and a haircut. Call to sign up.
P.O. Box 1773, Keller
There Has To Be More Ministries hosts the Back 2 School Backpack and Health Fair for Lake Dallas ISD every year. In addition to free school supplies, kids get free immunizations, sports physicals, vision screenings and haircuts. Donate gender-specific backpacks, pencil pouches, lunchboxes, sandwich bags, hand sanitizer and more (find the complete list of supplies on the Lake Dallas ISD website) by Aug. 5 to Point Bank in Corinth. Missed that deadline? Enlist your family to help set up and break down the fair on Aug. 10. Fill out a volunteer packet on the website.
Lake Dallas Middle School, 425 E. Hundley Drive, Lake Dallas
Youth Believing In Change is a faith-based organization that collects backpacks, pencils and copy paper — items that are always in high demand — for elementary-age kids in their after-school tutoring and reading programs, which you, Mom, can also volunteer to facilitate.
8574 Stults Road, Dallas