Jars of pencils, pens, scissors and rulers on a supply cart

Four nonprofit events for back-to-school season

Shopping for back-to-school supplies is an exciting annual adventure for millions of students nationwide. From pencil pouches to colorful notebooks, school supplies help children express their identity and personality. Many students in Virginia, however, can’t afford the tools they need to thrive in the classroom. And that’s where Virginia’s nonprofits can fill the gap.

Want to help local students start the school year off on the right foot? Here are four upcoming events hosted by nonprofits to keep on your radar.

ForKids Back-To-School Supply Drive

Founded in 1988, ForKids helps families in Hampton Roads combat homelessness through housing placement, job coaching and educational services. Its annual back-to-school supply drive provides hundreds of local students in need with school supplies. If you want to support this initiative, you can drop off supplies at its Chesapeake and Suffolk locations through Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You also can purchase directly from its Amazon Wishlist or shop through Amazon Smile and select ForKids Inc, where 0.5% of eligible purchases will be donated to the organization. To learn more about ForKids, check out our in-depth feature.

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg Literacy Kits

Each year, the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg hosts its literacy kit campaign, which donates early-learning materials to thousands of students in the region. Every literacy kit is filled with standard school supplies and an age-appropriate book. If you’re interested in hosting a literacy kit drive or becoming a sponsor, United Way has a toolkit available to help you get started. If you don’t have the time to host a drive, you can help by purchasing supplies from its Amazon Wishlist.

YMCA Richmond Bright Beginnings Program

For almost 30 years, the YMCA of Greater Richmond’s Bright Beginnings program has helped over 50,000 students in the Richmond region in need of school materials. Each student in the program receives a backpack full of supplies, a hygiene bag and a tote of winter clothes. You can support a student in the area by making a $150 donation to any YMCA location or donating school supplies and hygiene items. You also can donate your time by volunteering to assemble kits or assisting at a YMCA shopping event.

Hope for Learning Foundation Back 2 School Drive

Founded in 2020, the Hope for Learning Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to improve literacy rates among students of all ages in the Richmond region. It is hosting a back-to-school drive at its office from Aug. 12 to 13 when you can donate backpacks, crayons, pencils and more to children in need. If you can’t attend this event, you can donate school supplies or monetary gifts year-round! Visit the organization’s donation page for more information.

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