Growing up as middle schooler, I used to really annoy my friends during summertime because I was diligent about keeping a daily countdown to remind them when it was time to go back to school. It’s all I would talk about. “Hey guys, did you know there’s only 36 more days before school starts?”
I loved school. I was anxious to know which teachers we would get, what new books would be assigned and who I’d sit next to in Band.
Even though it might have been July, I had already plotted out most of the new school year activities right through Spring Break. It drove my girlfriends nuts! And although it might have seemed a little anal, I was filled with anticipation of another fresh start – learning a new locker combination, meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends who I hadn’t seen all summer – and most importantly, getting “new school supplies.”
There was nothing better than bending the binder of a brand new dictionary, opening a bag of bright yellow #2 pencils, or breaking the seal of a newly minted protractor and putting them all in my meticulously self-decorated “School Box.”
Fast forward about 30 years and now I’m back-to-school supply shopping again – and even though this time I’m “the mom,” I still get excited about the prospect of the First Day of School.
Last Saturday and Sunday was our “tax-free weekend,” which was a great time to stock up on supplies and save a little money. But what the girls and I found to be more satisfying than grabbing the latest deal was the opportunity, honor and privilege to offer a little help to other kids that might not be able to buy what they need for school this year.
While at Target, we discovered a cool line of school products that reminded me of Skittles candy called Yoobi! http://yoobi.com/. Yoobi is a new colorful and vibrant school supply brand that makes learning fun while also giving back. Yoobi means “One for you. One for me” and for every Yoobi item you buy, a Yoobi item is donated to a classroom in need right here in the U.S. through the Kids In Need Foundation. http://www.kinf.org. How simple is that?
Yoobi points out that many kids in the U.S. don’t have access to basic school supplies, unless teachers pay for them out of their own pocket. We don’t think that’s right and we bet you don’t either!
According to their website, for every Yoobi item you buy, a Yoobi item is contributed to a Yoobi Classroom Pack. These packs contain the most fundamental tools needed for learning and creativity. The goal is to help donate 30,000+ Classroom Packs this school year. Be sure to check out the display in your local Target store for more info or visit the Yoobi website to learn more.
While stopping for lunch we also found that our nearby Chick-fil-A was collecting school supplies. If you make a donation they’ll offer you a free chunk cookie or a small ice coffee. Some restaurant owner-operators are collecting everything from spiral notebooks, pencils and pocket folders to glue and index cards and everything in between. Stop by your neighborhood Chick-fil-A and you might be able to drop the items off right in their collection box.
Adventure & Victory Back-to-School Event
Another local volunteer opportunity that our family plans to support is the upcoming Adventure & Victory Back to School event which is set for Thursday, Aug. 21 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at K. B. Polk Vanguard Elementary in Dallas. Their goal is to make this back-to-school season less financially difficult for 300 children in the community. A variety of backpack and general supplies are needed or you can simply make a donation by visiting their website http://adventurevictory.org/2014-back-to-school-outreach-donations-needed.html.
These opportunities for back-to-school giving are great ways to involve your kids to seek out ways to be a blessing to others. You can even encourage your children to pick out supplies that might be useful to another student who might be going into the same grade as they are this school year. This helps personalize the donation and puts the focus on the spirit of giving through a shared experience. Best of all, encouraging a heart of compassion might be the most invaluable “school supply” our kids get this fall that will help teach life lessons far beyond the classroom.