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 ($50), a half-pack ($25), or a quarter-pack ($12.50). 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” or pack backpacks August 10th – 17th! Sign up

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 Orthodontics (615 NE 4th St, Grand Rapids)

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

Hotel Rapids (680 US-2, Grand Rapids)

Itasca County DFL (809 NE 4th St, Grand Rapids)

Kiesler Wellness Center (3130 SE 2nd Ave, Grand Rapids)

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

KOOTASCA (Central Square Mall: 201 NW 4th St, Suite 130, Grand Rapids)

Park State Bank (Grand Rapids South, Grand Rapids North, and Nashwauk branches)

Riverside Massage & Yoga Studio (125 Riverside Ave, Cohasset)

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (501 16th St NW, Grand Rapids)

Teaching Treasures Lending Center (204 NW 1st Ave, Ste 8, Grand Rapids)

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

Zion Lutheran Church (2901 S Highway 169, Grand Rapids)

Needed School Supplies* Include:

BACKPACKS
COLORED PENCILS
COMPOSITION NOTEBOOKS
CRAYONS
DISINFECTING WIPES
DRY-ERASE MARKERS
FOLDERS
GLUE STICKS
HAND SANITIZER
HEADPHONES & EARBUDS
HIGHLIGHTERS
MARKERS
MECHANICAL PENCILS
PAPER LUNCH BAGS
PENCIL BAGS
PENCILS
PENCIL SHARPENERS
PENCIL TOP ERASERS
PENS (BLUE OR BLACK)
PINK ERASERS
PLASTIC PENCIL BOXES
SCHOOL GLUE
SHARPIES
SCISSORS
TISSUE BOXES
WATER BOTTLES
WATERCOLOR PAINT BOXES
WIRE-BOUND NOTEBOOKS
ZIPLOC BAGS (QUART SIZE)
ZIPLOC BAGS (GALLON SIZE)
3-RING BINDERS (1″)
3-RING BINDERS (3″)
7-POCKET EXPANDING FILE FOLDERS
3 X 3 POST-ITS

*Only new, unused items will be accepted.

Request School Supplies

The annual School Supply Drive makes it possible for United Way to provide backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies to students who live or attend school in United Way of 1000 Lakes’ service area, which includes Itasca County and the surrounding communities of Hill City, Bena, and the Leech Lake Reservation.

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.

Those with students who reside outside of United Way of 1000 Lakes’ service area should call 211, visit 211unitedway.org, or contact their local United Way to learn more about finding school supplies and other educational resources in their region.

Schedule of Events

This year we're partnering with Target in Grand Rapids to collect school supplies! August 10th - 16th Target staff and volunteers will be in the Target parking lot accepting donations daily from 1 - 2 p.m. On August 17th, we'll be accepting donations 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - at which point we'll move over to Klockow Brewing Company for a backpack packing party! Sign up to volunteer, or stop by and drop off donations.

Donation Drop-off
August 10th – 16th | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Target (2140 S Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids)

Stuff the Bus Celebration
August 17th | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Target (2140 S Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids)

Backpack Packing Party
August 17th | 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Klockow Brewing Company (36 SE 10th St, Grand Rapids)

VOLUNTEER

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