school supply assistance

Written by Michelle McNally and Cassie Kelley

As Indianapolis area schools get ready to go back to class, area families are making their school supply lists and checking them twice. As you gather what your family needs, it may be hard to resist crayons for .50 or notebooks for .25. After you’ve stocked up on your mid-year resupply (grab an extra lunchbox while you’re at it), what can you do with the rest of your back to school deals?

Start with your child’s classroom. Our children’s school collects school supplies by the class- everything gets sorted on meet the teacher night and the supplies are communal. When I find a good deal, I bring the extra supplies and just toss them in with our required supplies. It’s easy, and I know the supplies will be used!

Ask your child’s school. School social workers will know of families who may need help with school supplies. They may be able to tell you specifically if children are in need of backpacks, binders or other items.

Inquire at your church. Churches may have a list of families who could use assistance with back to school items. They may also have a list of most asked for supplies.

Local Organizations

Indy Backpack Attack is a local organization that is currently wrapping up its 2015 supply drive. Each summer, this organization places bins around the city and collects the most needed supplies. For 2015, Indy Backpack Attack is partnering directly with Indianapolis Public Schools to distribute supplies to students in need. They will also be supporting charter school’s sponsored by the mayor’s office.

To donate supplies in surrounding counties, Indy Backpack Attack suggests contacting the United Way of Central Indiana. Each county office has a coordinator for area donations. Click here for a list of most wanted supplies.

Teacher’s Treasures is a local organization who helps teachers help students. Teachers are able to “shop” for supplies they need in their classrooms. Donations are accepted during business hours, and monetary donations can be made online.

School on Wheels provides tutors for students experiencing homelessness. This program functions on volunteers and donations, providing academic support for vulnerable students. School on Wheels accepts monetary donations on their website, and there’s a link to their Amazon wish list there as well.

You can also bring school supplies to donate:
  • July 18th and 19th Fill the Bus event at all Hamilton County Walmarts (benefits Hamilton County BackPack Attack)
  • Aug. 2nd Fever game (cash or new school supplies to benefit Indy BackPack Attack for IPS students) *bring a school supply and receive a free soft drink!
  • Aug 16th Colts’ game (cash or school supplies to benefit Teachers’ Treasures)
  • Sept. 15th Colts’ game (benefits Indy BackPack Attack)

No matter where you donate extra supplies, know they have the potential to help a child learn and grow. As you’re school shopping, consider donating supplies to help those in need.

If You Need Assistance

Verizon Wireless/TCC Mobile stores are having a backpack giveaway on Saturday, August 1, beginning at noon. 200 backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away on a first come, first serve basis at these seven area stores:
4903 S. Emerson Ave.,
10930 Pendleton Pike,
9811 Fall Creek Road,
2134 Southport Road,
1950 Kessler Blvd. West,
6010 W. 86th St.
4335 E. 82nd St.
1352 S. Rangeline Road, Carmel
11722 Allisonville Road, Fishers
11760 Olio Road, Fishers
8358 E. 96th St., Fishers
17231 Mercantile Blvd., Noblesville
17435 Carey Road, Westfield.
6634 Whitestown Parkway, Zionsville
1229 W. Oak St., Zionsville

Other backpack and school supply giveaways are listed by our friends at the Indianapolis Star.

And a personal request from an actual teacher, Cassie Kelley: buy the Ticonderoga brand pencils.  I know you are looking at those other cheaper brands and thinking, seriously, it’s just a pencil?  But trust me, they are so much better and don’t break every time an excited student uses them.  Thank you!!!