August - September 2021

Each year hundreds of children in greater Itasca County go back to school without the essential school supplies they need to succeed in the classroom. When children don’t have the school supplies they need, they often disconnect in school, making it much harder to succeed academically.

United Way is engaging volunteers to equip local students with the materials and confidence they need to get a strong start in school. When you host a drive or donate supplies, you help students across our community access the tools needed to stay on track to graduation.

How you can help

Collect supplies at your church, organization, civic group, or business. Get started

Pack a backpack full of school supplies for an elementary, middle, or high-school student. Make sure that your backpack is stocked for the school year with a school supply list from an area school district.

Shop online from one of our wishlists! Have items shipped straight to United Way to help out from home. Wish lists: Target | Amazon

Sponsor a virtual backpack. Text LAKES to 26989 and select “Stuff the Bus” from the dropdown menu to make a one-time, monthly, or round-up contribution. Supporters can donate a full pack ($30), a half-pack ($15), or a quarter-pack ($7.50). Donate now

Stuff the Bus! Supplies can also be dropped off at community locations throughout August and September or brought to our Stuff the Bus event. Find a dropbox

Volunteer to help us “Stuff the Bus!” Date TBD.

Community Dropbox Sites

School supplies can be dropped off at United Way or at a dropbox location in our service area. Curbside drop-off is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For curbside pickup, call 999-7570 and we’ll come outside to pick up your items. Or, come inside to deliver items to our office.

Other dropbox locations include:

Grand Rapids United Methodist Church (1701 SE 5th Ave, Grand Rapids)

Klockow Brewing Company (36 SE 10th St, Grand Rapids)

Woodland Bank (Hill City) (675 Highway 169 S, Hill City)

Needed School Supplies* Include:

HIGHLIGHTERS
DRY ERASE MARKERS
PINK ERASERS
FOLDERS
COMPOSITION NOTEBOOKS
WIRE-BOUND NOTEBOOKS
WATERCOLOR PAINT BOXES
PLASTIC PENCIL BOXES
PENCIL BAGS
3-RING BINDERS (1″)
3-RING BINDERS (3″)
PENCIL TOP ERASERS
PENCILS
PENS (BLUE OR BLACK)
MECHANICAL PENCILS
PENCIL SHARPENERS
COLORED PENCILS
MARKERS
COLOR CRAYONS
SCHOOL GLUE
GLUE STICKS
3 X 3 POST-ITS
SCISSORS
ZIPLOC BAGS (QUART SIZE)
DISINFECTING WIPES
HAND SANITIZER

*Only new, unused items will be accepted.

Request School Supplies

Do you know a student who needs school supplies? Teachers, youth advocates, parents, and other caring adults can request a backpack filled with supplies for students they know.

Request Supplies

Teachers in need of classroom supplies can also make a request by emailing info@uwlakes.org.

Our Work in Education

Education is a cornerstone for success in school, work, and life. Setting kids on the path to success begins with early intervention, and then, through high-quality education, students can graduate high school prepared for college & career.

Learn More