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Opportunity Details

Children & Youth Education

Better Housing Coalition Backpack Drive

School supplies, books and clothing can really add up. For instance, we calculated that a backpack full of the school supplies required by our public school system can easily run more than $100. For families with low-to-moderate incomes like many of those living in a Better Housing Coalition rental community, meeting daily expenses is already a challenge; and the added costs of back-to-school preparedness puts added pressure on a tightly stretched budget. Families with more than one child are especially hit hard; and due to other financial priorities are often unable to afford all of the tools their children need to perform well in school.

For the second year, we are hosting a backpack and supply drive! Last year volunteers generously donated nearly $10,000 in school supplies providing much-needed and appreciated budget relief to families living in BHC's Lincoln Mews and Winchester Greens communities. This year we have a goal of 150 fully stocked bags for the youth who are participating in our on-site programming.

This activity is perfect for groups and individuals, and it can be completed at your leisure (so long as it's before July 31st). Interested? It's easy to help out! Just follow the steps below.

  1. Decide if you'd like to fill an elementary, middle/high school bag, or a combination of both.
  2. Buy the supplies on the lists below.
  3. Stuff the bag. 
  4. Drop off your filled bag to BHC's Main Office (23 W. Broad St., Ste 100) by July 31st.
  5. Feel great that you helped a child be prepared for his/her first day of school!

For drop off, our office is open until M-F 8AM - 5PM. Parking can be a bit of a bear , so I recommend pulling in the alley by the back entrance (23 W Broad St.), putting on your flashers and just coming to the entrance down the hall on the first floor. If you have any issues, please contact Sarah Fernald, s.emmich@betterhousingcoalition.org, 804-644-0546 x118, or Chris at 804-644-0546 x119.

Supply lists:


Elementary School
3 packs #2 pencils (no mechanical)
1 package of highlighters
2 boxes crayons
6 primary composition notebooks
1 three-ring binder 1.5"
2 packs wide-ruled notebook paper
12 glue sticks
1 package colored pencils
1 package unscented markers
2 pairs safety scissors
2 boxes tissues
6 folders w/ inside pockets & prongs
1 pencil sharpener w/ shavings holder
1 pair of earbuds
1 pencil box/pouch
1 container of disinfectant wipes
2 large pink erasers
1 gender-neutral backpack


Middle/High School
2 marble composition notebooks
1 three-ring binder 2"
1 package of highlighters
2 packs black or blue pens
1 pack colored pencils
1 pair scissors
1 zippered pencil case
1 pack glue sticks
2 5-subject notebooks (college ruled)
2 3-subject notebooks (college ruled)
1 flash drive
3 packs of loose leaf paper
3 packs #2 pencils (no mechanical)
1 handheld pencil sharpener
1 package of dividers
2 large pink erasers
2 packs of 3x5 index cards
1 gender-neutral backpack

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Volunteers needed through 7/31/2018

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