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Host a School Supply Drive

June 22

By Emily Wills, fund development coordinator

Theresa Terrace Neighborhood Center is hosting its annual Back2School Block Party to celebrate community and prepare children for the coming school year. We need your help to reach our goal of providing 250 backpacks stuffed with school supplies for kids in need. 

Hosting a supply drive is an great way to engage young people in giving back, connect with neighbors, and build connections in the community. It is also an activity that can help children take on leadership and grow their confidence. 

Step 1: Make a Plan 

  • Who: Decide who you are going to ask for help in donating supplies. You could pass out flyers to your neighborhood, email friends and coworkers, or write a post on social media, announce your supply drive with chalk on the sidewalk – get creative! 
  • What: Make a list of 15-20 school supplies to ask for people to donate. (OR, use this list we made for you!) If you plan on accepting cash or check donations, set up your app or account, or designate a special envelope to keep track of funds. Then, make a goal for how many or how much you want to give back to help motivate your next step! 
  • When: Know your timeline! Donations can be collected July 12-August 9. We ask that all donations be dropped off at Theresa Terrace Neighborhood Center by Friday, August 13. The backpack stuff-a-thon will take place on Tuesday, August 17! 
  • Where: Set up a collection bin for donated supplies! This can be on your front porch, in an office lobby, or at the register of a local business. Make sure to let people know where they can find the bin — you can even decorate them if you’re feeling artsy! 
  • Why: This is an important one. Have a conversation about why you want to host a school supply drive. Is it to help others? Is it to feel good about giving back? Is it to support a cause that you care about? Ask your child what their thoughts and motivations might be. 

Step 2: Spread the Word 

  • Print: Make and print flyers to tell the people in your neighborhood about your drive! Be sure to include why this is important to you and how they can help you reach your goal! 
  • Post: Take pictures of items as you collect them and share on social media! You can use these as a way to shout out the people who have made a donation and encourage other people to do it too! 
  • Prioritize: Set aside time as a family to work on your supply drive. Maybe it’s a Tuesday afternoon walk around the neighborhood to remind neighbors to help by donating or a Saturday morning to write notes with chalk encouraging people to give back! 

Step 3: Thank & Deliver! 

  • Thank: At the end of your drive, be sure to say thank you to everyone who helped to make it a success. Send cards, make phone calls, or drop off some homemade cookies to make them feel extra special! 
  • Deliver: Deliver your supply drive donations to Theresa Terrace Neighborhood Center (1409 Theresa Terrace, Madison WI) on or before Wednesday, August 11! 

Starting the school year with all the necessary pens, pencils, and notebooks helps a child feel prepared to learn, boosts self-esteem, and encourages greater engagement with schoolwork and assignments.  

Any questions? Or want to host a supply drive? Contact Emily Wills at to sign up!