by Jill Piwko



Looking for a way that you can help out our community while you’re doing your back-to-school shopping for the kids?  You can help out, too. Local organizations are accepting donations for back-to-school supplies and other items such as shoes for kids.

Here are some of the local organizations that are accepting donations:

Communities in Schools-Collecting for Kalamazoo Public Schools

The most commonly requested school supplies are:

  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Erasers
  • Three-ring binders
  • Two-pocket folders
  • Spiral-bound notebooks
  • Backpacks
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Notebook paper
  • Index cards

All school supplies are accepted. Drop off can be made at Items can be dropped off at the Communities in Schools office which is located at:

  • Kalamazoo at 125 W. Exchange Place, Kalamazoo (behind the Comerica Bank building, across the street from the Radisson).  Communities is Schools is located in the same building as The Kalamazoo Promise.

Other items that are also frequently requested from the Communities in Schools Kids’ Closet and are urgently needed in the fall are:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Personal care products (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Sweatpants

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church-Collecting for Haverhill, Amberly, and Edison Schools

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is collecting school supplies for the Haverhill, Amberly (Portage) and Edison schools during their camp. Donations can be dropped at the church located at:

  • 1747 W. Milham Rd in Portage during the week of August 11-15.

The following donations items will be collected are:

  • Elementary age appropriate books 
  • 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 
  • Tissues
  •  Lysol or Clorox Wipes 
  • Non-perishable snacks (appropriate for schools) 

Generous Hands-Collecting For Back To School Bonanza-Collecting For Vicksburg, Schoolcraft, and Climax-Scotts Schools

Generous Hands and South County Community Services are partnering together to help children prepare for a successful new school year. When school resumes in the fall many children do not have the necessary school supplies to help them succeed in school. You can Lend a Hand by donating any of the following school supplies to Generous Hands and South County Community Services.

Supplies being collected are:

  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Pens
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Crayola crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Notebook paper
  • Folders
  • 1” binders
  • Back Packs

These items can be dropped off on or before August 8 and will be distributed at the annual Back to School Bonanza on August 16. Items can be dropped off at:

  • Generous Hands, 113 S. Kalamazoo Avenue in Vicksburg on Wednesday evenings between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm or on Friday mornings between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm.

Generous Hands would also be happy to pick up the supplies at your convenience.

Generous Hands will be hosting the 7th Annual Back to School Bonanza on August 16, 2014. Last year’s event proved to be very popular, drawing more than 139 children and their families from the Vicksburg, Schoolcraft and Climax-Scotts school districts.

First Day Shoe Fund– Collecting for Kalamazoo Public Schools

The First Day Shoe Fund believes that all students should start school on equal footing!

The First Day Shoe Fund, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a local grassroots initiative whose mission is to provide new shoes to children grades K-2 in the Kalamazoo Public School system who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

The First Day Shoe Fund (FDSF) is a local, grassroots initiative whose mission is to provide a unique service to children in grades K-3 in the Kalamazoo Public Schools system by distributing new shoes at the start of the school year.

We have several distributions left for this summer and will have several more this September and October in both Kalamazoo Public Schools and Comstock schools.  Currently collecting:

  • new shoes
  • new socks
  • athletic type tennis shoes that can be worn for gym class

Supplies For Success -Collecting For Mattawan Schools

Supplies For Success is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to help the children at Mattawan Early and Later Elementary School by providing appropriate school clothing and supplies. By caring for their basic needs, we encourage self-esteem and promote academic success. Our goal is to give these children the confidence they need to succeed and to relieve economic stress on their parents. For more information on this organization, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

Currently collecting:

  • Size appropriate clothing for the kindergarten through 5th grade student, new or gently worn
  • Backpacks
  • Snow clothes
  • Boots
  • Shoes

Donations can be dropped off at:

  • drop off box located in the lobby of the Edward Jones Investment office in the Woodbridge Shopping Plaza on Centre St in Portage.

Stuff A Bus With Heimstra Optical-Collecting for Kalamazoo, Portage, Paw Paw, and Plainwell Schools

This summer, working with many local businesses, corporate sponsors, and hundreds of individual donors, Heimstra Optical will collect school supplies, personal hygiene supplies, and small backpacks for lower-income children in Kalamazoo, Portage, Paw Paw, and Plainwell school districts.

  • Collections will start July 12, 2014 and can be dropped off at various business locations around town (click on link above to see flier) and conclude on Saturday, August 9, 2014 with a Back-To-School Event at Hiemstra Optical’s Portage office located at 255 Romence Road in Portage.

The supplies will be delivered to local schools in late August for distribution to children-in-need when school starts in September.

Hiemstra Optical’s Back-To-School Event will conclude our “Stuff-the-Bus” drive and we will stuff a bus provided by Portage Public Schools on Saturday, August 9. This event will also feature vision screenings by the Lions Club, finger printing by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, and Hiemstra Optical’s Kids-Only Frame Show.

Also collecting general school supplies are:

Kalamazoo Christian Elementary and Middle School. Drop off at:

  • 3800 12th Street, Kalamazoo, MI

First United Methodist Church is collecting for Spring Valley Elementary School. Drop off at:

  • 212 S. Park, Kalamazoo, MI


Do you know of an organization that is collecting school supplies that should be on our list? If so, please let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!




By | 2014-08-01T05:26:33+00:00 July 30th, 2014|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Newly Published|Comments Off on Where and How To Donate Back-To-School Supplies and Other Back-To-School Items

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 9 year old son. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.