by Robin B and Jill P
Yes, it’s hard to believe that we’re thinking about “back to school” time already. But, if you’re in the stores, you’ll see the stacks of back to school supplies. Many local non-profits and other community organizations are collecting supplies. So, if you’ve begun shopping for your kids’ supplies, why not pick up an extra set for those in need in our community?
Check out our list here to see who in the community is collecting. Also, let us know if you’ve missed any organization that is collecting. We’ll update this guide as we get more information.
ORGANIZATIONS COLLECTING BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES
125 W Exchange Pl, Kalamazoo | 337-1601, ext. 205
Here are the most frequently requested school supplies from the CIS Kids’ Closet. All items that are donated are new.
- Backpacks (all grade levels)
- Pens (blue & black)
- Three-ring binders (1 – 2 inch)
- Spiral-bound notebooks
- Two-pocket folders
- Notebook paper (regular & college-rule)
- Pencil box/pouch
- Markers (washable)
- Colored pencils
- Glue sticks
- Index cards
- Hand sanitizer
- Pant & underwear in children’s sizes 4, 6, 8
Special drop-off locations & promotions
- During the month of August – Little Sprout Children’s Boutique (3009 Oakland Drive in the Oakwood Plaza) – drop off 5 or more school supplies to receive $10 off a $50 or more purchase
- July 27 – August 13 – Hiemstra Optical locations in Plainwell, Paw Paw, Portage and Kalamazoo (Downtown & Gull Road) – to benefit students in those communities
- Saturday, August 15 – “Stuff the Bus” events sponsored by Hiemstra Optical: Stuff the Bus
*11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Bronson Park as part of The Kalamazoo Promise’s 10th Anniversary Community Celebration.
* 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Hiemstra Optical in Portage (255 Romence Rd – near Ritter’s) as part of their Back-to-School Frame Show.
Individuals can also contact Emily at Community in Schools if you have questions or would like to organize a collection drive: firstname.lastname@example.org or 337-1601, ext. 205.
Vicksburg | 269-370-7965
Generous Hands is accepting new backpacks and school supplies for their 8th annual “Back to School Bonanza”. The following is a list of supplies needed by August 8.
- Rulers, scissors, Crayola crayons, colored pencils, markers, notebook filler paper (wide-ruled and college-ruled size), folders, 1” binders, back packs, Hygiene items (small hand sanitizers, small tissue packets, dental floss, travel shampoo), gently used children’s clothing.
Items can be dropped off at the Generous Hands location (113. S. Kalamazoo Avenue in Vicksburg) on Wednesday evenings between 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. or on Friday’s from 10:00 – noon. Or you can contact 269-370-7965 for additional hours or pick-up.
1747 W. Milham Avenue, Portage | 269-343-3453
School supply donations will be accepted during the week of August 3 – 6th for the Art of Service Camp program. Items in need include:
- New or gently used backpacks, underwear – new (size 4-6, for both boys & girls), sweatpants/Knit pants – new or used (size 4-6, for both boys & girls), Socks – new (size 4-8), Sharpened pencils, Colored pencils, 24 count Crayons, Colored folders, Dry-Erase Markers, Craft Markers (Crayola), Tissues, Lysol or Clorox Wipes
Donations can be dropped off at the Church during the week of August 3 from 9:00 – noon.
325 E Centre Ave, Portage, MI 4900 | 269-323-1942
School supplies being collected this year are:
- Pencils (Mechanical and No.2)
- Ink Pens (Red, Black, and Blue)
- Markers (both washable and permanent)
- Colored Pencils
- Pocket Folders
- Spiral Notebooks
- Lined Notebook Paper (wide and college ruled)
- Pencil Holder Boxes
- Scientific Calculators
- Glue Sticks
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Protractor and Compass
Call Alex at the Portage Community Center at 323-1942 x213 or at email at: email@example.com with any specific questions.
10332 Portage Road, Portage | 269-532-4912
Twelve Baskets accepts donations of food, prior to expiration, at their location in Portage. Please contact them to set up a time or drop donations off at one of the “Stuff a Bus” or other distribution events. Check out their Facebook page for a list of current events. September 15, 2015 is the next “Stuff a Bus” event to be held at D & W on Romence from 9:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Lake Center Bible Church, 995 Romence Road, Portage | 269-327-1004
Power Up helps serves over 300 Portage Public school students with kid-friendly meals over the weekends during the school year. They are in need of the following items:
- Ramen noodles, Ez Mac-n-Cheese, Canned soup, Instant oatmeal, Individual cereals, Nutra grain bars, Pop tarts, Granola bars, Peanut butter crackers, Individual snacks, Fruit cups
Items can be dropped off at Lake Center Bible Church during regular office hours Monday – Thursday from 9:00 – 4:00 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange pick-up.
A food drive will be held at the Woodbridge Harding’s on Centre Street in Portage on August 22nd, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
1608 Lake Street, Kalamazoo | 269-344-0202
778 W. Columbia, Battle Creek | 269-965-3247
Click here to see full listing of school supplies that they are collecting.
8740 S. Westnedge Avenue, Portage | 269-327-6761
Pathfinder Church is collecting supplies for elementary students as well as supplies to help support the teachers at Portage Central Elementary school.
Galesburg | 269-873-8010
Drop off at the Galesburg-Charleston Memorial District-Library or contact Amanda at the phone number below.
Accepting donation of the following:
- Pens, pencils, 24 count crayons, colored pencils, 10 count markers, dry erase markers, hand sanitizer, clorox/lysol wipes, kleenex’s 2 pocket folders, pencil boxes/pouches, binders (2″-3″), glue sticks, kids scissors,pink erasers, cap erasers for pencils, spiral notebooks, highlighters, and band-aids.
Mattawan | 269-929-6533
Drop off location is still at the Edward Jones Investment office, Woodbridge Shopping Village, Centre Avenue, Portage.
A Back To School Event with the Mattawan Area Food Pantry September 19. We are gearing up and are in need of donations. We are looking for backpacks, new or gently used school appropriate clothing (size 5-14/16), new socks and underwear, tennis shoes and waterproof gloves.