Help kids start the school year right by supporting Tools for School - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Help kids start the school year right by supporting Tools for School

August 16, 2023


The need for school supplies continues to rise in the Alberta Capital Region as Tools for School receives more than 21,000 requests for supplies to help local students

For too many local families, summer fun means summer stress as back-to-school shopping strains a family’s already tight budget. Local students urgently need supplies for the upcoming school year. Together, we can make sure that children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 have the tools they need to succeed, and no one is left behind due to financial challenges.

For thirty years, United Way’s Tools for School has been there to help families and kids access the supplies they need to be successful in school. Children who have the tools they need to fully participate in school can focus on learning, feel included, and have an increased feeling of equity, leading to better education outcomes.

We’ve seen a steady increase in need across in the Edmonton area in recent years, including more local schools reaching out for help. Demand has continued to rise, with more than 21,000 requests for schools supplies so far this season.

“Two years ago, we were able to meet the need of 11,500 backpacks. Last year, we had a new record of 17,000 requests. So, we have been seeing an incredible increase year-over-year. Our goal is to make sure that every student who needs supplies has access to them, but we need the community to come together to help us make it happen,” explains Trish Weber, Vice President, Donor Relations & Resource Development for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

“We know that this support means so much to teachers, families, and students – not just because of the supplies themselves but because of the relief and the dignity these tools provide. Because of community support of Tools for School, students walk into class with a new backpack and supplies, just like their peers. Every child deserves this opportunity.”

Donate online today to help reach our goal and make sure every student has a strong start.

The best way to support Tools for School right now is by donating online. United Way is able to quickly and effectively use monetary donations to cover any shortfalls in school supplies, so we can ensure that we have enough kits to help 21,000 students start the year off on equal footing.

Community partners step up to support students

School helps sets a strong foundation for a successful and stable future, but families in our region experience barriers that make it harder to stay in school. Breaking down these barriers isn’t something that one organization can do in isolation. That’s why, in addition to our supporters, United Way works with governments, schools, other non-profits, and businesses to make lasting change in our community.

Staples Canada has been a long-time corporate sponsor of Tools for School. Every year, local stores host drop-off bins, ask for donations at the till, and provide United Way with a discount so monetary donations can go even farther to support students. Staples Canada has recently expanded their support, with United Way as their official charitable sponsor across the country for school supply drives, with the exception of Ontario.

Because of this partnership with Staples, a monetary donation is the easiest and fastest way community members can support Tools for School, with customers able to donate at the till from August 7 to September 10. Dropoff boxes are also available at local businesses throughout the Alberta Capital Region.

Families in need of backpacks are encouraged to talk to their school to determine availability.
If you are a teacher or school in need of backpacks, contact us at 780-990-1000.