The Right Tools For Going Back to School!

As the end of summer draws near, families everywhere are scavenging the store aisles to grab the school supply items requested by that oh-so-specific new teacher. But amidst the hustle and bustle of nabbing deals and buying new clothes is an often overlooked reality: many kids are without these basic back-to-school necessities.

That’s where The Salvation Army comes in. Thanks to an awesome national effort from volunteers, partnerships, and local businesses, thousands of kids across the country are returning to school with new clothes, supplies, and confidence- the right ingredients needed for success in the classroom.

The Target School Spree events provided nearly 12,000 children with a gift card worth $80 to purchase items needed for school. Those selected by the Salvation Army to receive the gift card also received one-on-one shopping assistance to ensure all of their needs were met. Nearly 500 Target stores participated in the one-day Target School Spree event.

Target gift recipients pose for the camera in Cincinnati.

In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Project Backpack led to the children singing in appreciation as they received backpacks and supplies provided by Huntington Bank. Almost 500 backpacks were distributed! This included participants from the Summer Enrichment program at the six community centers throughout the city.It’s so wonderful to be part of this event,” stated Major Faith Miller, Divisional Program Secretary. “We’re so grateful to the companies and those in the community who make these programs possible.”


Across the country Salvation Army locations teamed up with local businesses to “Stuff the Bus”. Krispy Kremes in North and South Carolina offered a delicious donut incentive to folks who donated supplies.

Florida Salvation Army locations “Stuffed the Bus” by partnering with Publix Supermarkets, United Way, First Coast News, and Community First Credit Union. In Jacksonville alone they helped 2,000 needy children!

The Salvation Army of San Francisco hosted a Back-to-School Carnival complete with games, contests, and face-painting! Check out the kids-turned-animals here.

Face-painted fun at the Salvation Army of San Francisco

The Salvation Army of Orlando partnered with Publix Supermarkets for the“School Tools for Cool Kids” supply drive. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer even stopped by on the first day to pass out nearly 700 bags of school supplies to the area families!

Mayor Buddy Dyer Poses with supplies recipients. Picture Courtesy of www.cfnews13.com

The Salvation Army of El Paso, Texas collected enough donations to help more than 420 children in the area, including children at the Child Crisis Center and those residing at the Salvation Army emergency family shelter.

The San Antonio Salvation Army provided 2,000 pairs of shoes to about 1,000 families in need. Within three shifts,250 volunteers fit shoes on the feet of these children- that’s gotta’ be a record!

The Salvation Army of Amarillo, Texas partnered with Wal-Mart to provide brand new shoes and socks for thousands of children. More than 800 students visited the store to pick out the shoes they wanted!

These are just a few examples of the back-to-school events that have been going on across the country since late July. Children are enjoying their last few days of freedom rather than spending their final days of summer vacation wondering if they’ll have these necessities. Because of generous donors and faithful volunteers, education is made a priority, families in need can afford other necessities for a healthy lifestyle, and kids are left to focus on their studies without the distractions of “not having”.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!