If the stores are stocked with pencils and backpacks, then it is probably not too early to talk about going back to school. (Sniffle.) Kids of all ages are getting their school supplies ready and their thinking caps on, while others (like my own) are going to leave the planning to me and avoid the thought of school until the very last possible moment. Sound familiar?
As you get ready for back to school season this year, why not also think about ways to pay it forward? From elementary school through college, here are some random acts of kindness ideas that are perfect for back to school season:
Share Your Knowledge:
Find out if there will be any new children in the grade. If so, reach out and offer your guidance and friendship to the child or to the parents. Introduce that child to other kids, and show him or her around. It is so much easier to adjust to a new school when there is already a familiar face in the hallway!
Sign up to be a buddy, mentor or tutor to younger children. Use your know-how to help those who may need some encouragement. If there is no buddy program in your school, why not start one?
Share Your Items:
Donate books to the school library once you are done reading them. They could greatly expand another child’s horizons. If your school does not take book donations, look for a school in your area that would be grateful for the donation. Even a local library would be a great place to make a book donation.
Share Your Dollars:
Back to school shopping can be done in a way that keeps others in mind too, and paying it forward it doesn’t necessarily mean spending more.
There are some fabulous deals on school supplies happening now, especially when you use store or manufacturers coupons. When you shop for school supplies, consider grabbing extras for your child’s school or classroom, or to donate to a school that could really use your help. Every year teachers across the country spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to supply their classrooms. Look for the buy one, get one deals, as those can go a very long way towards helping a classroom in need.
One of the ways to pay it forward is to think about the environment. Ever year we purchase so much paper and so many school supplies that can come from renewable sources. Consider purchasing green school supplies, such as recycled paper and notebooks made from sugar cane (that don’t kill trees). TheGreenOffice.com is an online retailer featuring over 38,000 items, that are ranked by their greenness. Many of their products are delivered next day and with free shipping, so you can go green this school year without even leaving your home!
Speaking of being green, for families that are seeking to reduce their exposure to toxins in plastics as well as waste, stainless steel ECOlunchbox bentos are a great option. ECOlunchbox specializes in stainless steel ECOlunchboxes and artisan cotton ECOlunchbags that are waste-free, plastic-free, lead-free, BPA-free, PVC-free, sweatshop-free, and vinyl-free.
The first day of school and new shoes go hand-in-hand, right? Buy now you have probably heard of Toms Shoes and their “buy one, give one” program. Toms has terrific new arrivals in their kids department (be sure to check out the floral denim style), which can be purchased on their website or at many local retailers.
Schoola turns quality pre-loved clothing into money for your child’s school programs. Schoola.com offers quality clothing at up to 70% off retail with 40% of proceeds benefiting kids. Parents can donate gently used kids and women’s clothing by mail from home with free shipping, or participate in a school-wide clothing drive. Either option allows them to clean out their closet for the benefit of their school. You can even track the school’s fundraising progress through the website.
With every bag you purchase, Bixbee will donate a schoolbag with supplies to a child in need. Fun, colorful and always cool, Bixbee bags and backpacks are perfect for school, sports and backyard adventures. Perfectly sized to carry everything they, Bixbee bags feature an easy-grip comfort handle, an optional, adjustable shoulder strap and plenty of pockets to keep them organized. Bixbee bags are PVC-free, phthalate-free, lead-free and BPA-free. For boys, I adore theblue, while for girls I love the “Sparkalicious” in pink, purple or aqua.
Also in the backpack genre, for each backpack sold, STATE bags will donate one backpack loaded with school supplies to an American child in need as part of the Give Back Pack program. A backpack that puts the fun back in function, this water-resistant bag comes in a variety of cool colors and features plenty of pockets, including media, pen and hook-and-loop exterior pockets at the sides. Padded, adjustable shoulder straps round out the school-savvy look. Personally, I am loving the Kane backpack in green and in pink.
At PSIAdoreYou, a piece of every purchase supports a good cause. The site was startd by a group of moms who love three things: a great product, a great deal, and a great cause! You can find fun new items every day at a discounted price, all while pitching in to help fight childhood cancer.
Share Your Generosity:
And if you just feel like doing a good deed to start off the new school year, there are plenty of ways to pay it forward that are in keeping with the “back-to-school” theme.
AdoptAClassroom.org will partner you with a teacher so you can purchase the specific resources and materials they need for their classroom. When you adopt a classroom, you can search by school or location as well as by subject or need.
Another terrific way to help teachers get the necessary supplies they need for their classroom is through DonorsChoose.org, which makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests. You can search location or by need, find what inspires you, and can give any amount of your choosing to that project. There are so many acts of kindness to choose from!
At Oxfam Unwrapped, there are tons of creative gift ideas that you can donate to children in need around the world. You can even donate school supplies, books for kids and related educational gifts, such as helping a student leader make a difference.
By the way, all donations for AdoptaClassroom.org, DonorsChoose.org and OxfamUnwrapped.com are tax deductible.
Let’s make this school year a great one!
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