Provide backpacks, supplies to kids in need with Tools for School - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Provide backpacks, supplies to kids in need with Tools for School

July 8, 2024

Smiling girl sitting at desk in class room and looking at camera. Portrait of young Black schoolgirl studying with classmates in background. Happy smiling pupil writing on notebook.
Adobe Stock Photo

By supporting Tools for School and United Way,
you can help make sure every student has the school supplies they need to succeed.

For families attending Delton School in north-central Edmonton, the backpacks they receive from United Way’s Tools for School program give students more than new school supplies — it brings a sense of relief, hope, and community to their families during what can often be a stressful time.

“When kids and families have the support of school supplies, all of a sudden we see positive attendance, we see engagement, and we see profound relief from families who are experiencing other stressors in their lives,” shares Christine Simmons, Principal at Delton School.

School sets a strong foundation for a successful and stable future, but families in our region experience barriers that make it harder to participate in school. For more than thirty years, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region has rallied the local community together to support our Tools for School program.

When we provide students with new school supplies, kids feel included and can focus better, leading to better educational outcomes.

Christine says that the support of Tools for School and United Way is a tangible way to show families that the community cares for them.

Christine Simmons, Principal at Delton School in Edmonton, Alberta

“When you’re able to phone a family and say on that very first day, despite all these other challenges: here’s what we can do — not only have you inspired hope for that kiddo, but you’ve created trust and you’ve created relief for a family to meet the needs of their families in different ways.

To experience that is not only humbling, but it’s incredibly impactful. That’s why we do what we do.”

— Christine Simmons,
Principal, Delton School

Help students succeed by supporting Tools for School

United Way has seen a steady increase in need across the Edmonton area in recent years, including more local schools and front-line agencies reaching out for help with school supplies. With the support of our community, local businesses, and volunteers, more than 18,000 students received school supplies from Tools for School last year.

This year, we anticipate 21,000 students and their families will need help accessing backpacks and school supplies with Tools for School.

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

You can also host a Tools for School backpack drive in your community or workplace, or volunteer to build backpacks during a Day of Caring. Our corporate sponsor Staples will also be accepting backpacks and monetary donations at their tills from August 11 to September 22, 2024.


Families in need of backpacks are encouraged to talk to their school directly to determine availability. School staff can contact United Way to learn more about receiving Tools for School support at 780-990-1000.

Support Tools for School

By donating time, supplies, and funds to United Way’s Tools for School, you can ensure kids start school next year with the tools they need to succeed.

Learn more about Tools for School