While this toolkit was designed to help those organizing a school supply drive, anyone can participate by purchasing supplies for a local school. If you would like to help as an individual, you can print the Sample School Supply List/Donation Sheet to get ideas, attach it to your box or bag of donations and drop it off to your local school.
Before you start, ask around to see if there is already an existing drive that you and your group could help to support. If there is a local drive, encourage the organizer to list the drive on the Create The Good website: www.CreateTheGood.org/equippedtolearn.
Step 1: GET HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS
Whether you organize the drive on your own or make the organizing a group effort, you will need to reach out to a lot of people in order to make the school supply drive a success. So go ahead and recruit your family, work colleagues, neighbors and others in your community.
Step 2: ADOPT A SCHOOL AND DETERMINE WHAT SUPPLIES THEY NEED
If you know a teacher, principal or school administrator, you can talk to him or her about your idea and find out the school’s supply needs. Or you can call a local school or district and ask the principal what supplies the school may need.
The principal might need to ask the teachers to determine these needs, or they might be happy to receive any school supplies they can get. They’ll let you know. (See the Sample Talking Points for Principals/School Administrators.)
Step 3: MAKE A PLAN
- Put together the list of supplies needed (see the Sample School Supply List).
- Determine drop-off dates and locations.
- Consider local community locations such as the YMCA, faith organizations, library, community center or even the school.
- Ensure that someone will be at the location at all drop-off times.
- Make sure each drop-off location has a receptacle to place the supplies.
- Determine whether supplies will need to be sorted and prepped. If so, schedule the drop-off deadline at least one week before the date you plan to give the supplies to the school. Consider keeping an estimated tally of collected supplies. It’s helpful to know what you achieved when you celebrate your success.
- Divide your tasks — don’t do it all yourself.
Step 4: PROMOTE IT
- Develop flyers (see the Publicity Tip Sheet / Sample Promotional Flyer).
- Make sure to provide the date, time and location for the supply drop-off and the school or district that will benefit from the donations.
- Tell the local papers (see the Sample Media Advisory).
- Tell all of your friends — word of mouth is a great promotional tool.
- Reach out to PTAs, community organizations, faith organizations, YMCAs, libraries, etc., and ask them to help you promote the school supply drive. They could do so through bulletins, email blasts, mention at public meetings and/or allowing you to post your flyer in their buildings.
- Post this drive on Create The Good to recruit volunteers or request supplies. Go to www.CreateTheGood.org and click on “Post an Opportunity.” (For tips on how to post this opportunity, see instructions at www.createthegood.org/sites/default/files/how-to/TipSheet.pdf.)
- Post the school supply drive on your Facebook, MySpace or other social media and send out messages to your network.
- Post signs near the drop-off location to make it easy for everyone to find you. Use large construction paper or poster board so people can read the signs from their cars.
- Check the Publicity Tip Sheet in this toolkit for more suggestions on how to promote your drive.
Step 5: DROP OFF YOUR SUPPLIES
Work with the school principal and/or administrator to determine the best date and time to drop off the supplies. Consider asking the principal to present the school with collected supplies during an assembly time. (See the Sample Talking Points for Principals/School Administrators).
Make sure you invite the other volunteers to join you in presenting the school with the supplies.
Step 6: CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS
Give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work. And remember to thank everyone who helped you — it will make them feel great. While the school supply drive is still fresh in your mind, think about what worked well and what didn’t. That way you can build on your success, if you decide to do this again.
Step 7: INSPIRE OTHERS ON CREATETHEGOOD.ORG
TELL US WHAT YOU DID!
We want to hear stories (www.CreateTheGood.org/stories) about how you helped give back to your community. You just might inspire others to do the same.
KEEP UP THE GOOD!
Remember, whether you’ve got five minutes, five hours or five days, you can make a positive impact in your community. And if you have more time, consider organizing another service activity, finding local opportunities and posting your events at www.CreateTheGood.org.