Tools for Schools 2020 Backpack Campaign

Back in 2002, a local cab driver/community philanthropist started collecting and filling backpacks with school supplies for local kids. He enlisted other drivers, got the community involved, and the idea grew. The next year, he called Schoolhouse Supplies to see if we could work together and the Tools for Schools program launched. Since 2003, this successful program has already distributed nearly 170,000 backpacks, and with your help we can broaden our vision to include the needs of more schools and students in our community!

How It Works

At participating Title 1 or CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) schools, every student in the school receives a new backpack filled with new school supplies.  For many of the children, these may be the only new items that they receive all year. $20 provides a backpack filled with brand new schools supplies for a low-income student.

Employee Engagement

Employees of sponsoring businesses and organizations typically join their school’s community to pack and distribute backpacks with students. This school year, 356 volunteers participated in assemblies and events such as back-to-school picnics and barbeques and first-day-of-school celebrations. We do not know if back-to-school activities will look different this August and September. We do know that direct engagement is important to your staff (100% of surveyed participants reported that they are proud of their company for sponsoring this program) and to the children who participate in the program. This aspect of the program provides a direct connection for each child to experience adults who are neither their parents nor teachers, but who value education and believe in that child’s ability to succeed. These connections and this knowledge are among the building blocks of healthy childhood development and Schoolhouse Supplies will continue to work with our partner schools to identify the appropriate opportunities.

With your support children can start the school year feeling supported and uplifted by caring community partners.

Opportunities – Tools for Schools Sponsorship Is Only $20/Student

$1,000   Backpacks and supplies for 50 students in need

$2,000   Backpacks and supplies for 100 students in need

$4,000 $10,000 SCHOOL CO-SPONSOR

  • Backpacks and supplies for 200-400 students in need
  • In-school backpack event for 10-15 volunteers


  • Backpacks and supplies for 600 students in need an entire school!
  • Exclusive in-school backpack event for up to 20 volunteers
Kelley Elementary School and Kuni Lexus of Portland celebrate the first day of school.

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