Tools for School Kicks–off!

We’re only half-way through the month of July and it doesn’t seem like it’s time to think about back-to-school yet. However, for United Way, it’s the beginning of the back to school Tools for School campaign. Today, at Staples Terra Losa, the Tools for School initiative kicked-off its 20th campaign year. For the last nine years, United Way has partnered with Staples Canada to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Staples set a goal this year to raise $150,000 towards the program to build backpacks full of new school supplies for children and youth in the Alberta Capital Region. United Way distributes the school supplies to 30 communities. “Last year, we build and distributed over 8,000 backpacks, this year, we will build 10,000 backpacks to meet the incoming requests from school districts,” said Jenn Dermott, Tools for School Program Coordinator.

The annual campaign runs from July 16 – August 31, 2014.  Donations of cash or new school supplies can be made at Staples locations throughout the Alberta Capital Region or online at All donations go toward purchasing the necessary school supplies for K to 12 students. Volunteers sort and organize the school supplies into backpacks and once completed, the backpacks are distributed to the school districts.  A complete list of approved school supplies can be found at If your child needs a backpack, you can contact their school or call 211.

Today, Enbridge staff spent the morning at the United Way In-Kind Exchange building the first of thousands of backpacks.

Thank you to our Community Partner, Staples and to our Community Sponsors, ABC Press, City, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Examiner, First Student Canada, and Newcap Radio (CFCW, Capital FM, K-97).