Need for school supplies even greater due to the pandemic

United Way of Northern New Jersey is seeking help from volunteers and donations of new school supplies for its annual United Way Tools for School drive, which provides students with the basic tools needed for learning in any classroom — either in school or virtually from home.

Children still will need basic school supplies, no matter how instruction will be delivered due to the pandemic. The drive seeks to benefit more than 10,000 elementary and middle school children of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) workers and those in poverty in Morris County and throughout the northern New Jersey region.

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Through a partnership between United Way and YouGiveGoods.com, donors can make an online purchase of supplies that will be delivered automatically to United Way or a partner school. Donations can be made by visiting www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/ToolsforSchool.

Graphic: Who is ALICE - Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed

Based on needs expressed by local educators, United Way is collecting the following school supplies: hand sanitizer, masks, backpacks, lunch boxes, binders, three-ring notebooks, book covers, filler paper, pocket folders, composition and spiral notebooks, index cards, calculators, pencils, pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, erasers, pens, highlighters, crayons, markers, colored pencils, construction paper, glue, rulers, and scissors.

In addition, school nurses have asked for personal care items such as toothbrushes, deodorant, and kindergarten and first grade-aged children’s underwear and socks. Gift cards that can be used to purchase items such as shoes and clothing are also appreciated.

United Way Tools for School seeks to alleviate the budget strains on families who already were struggling to afford basics such as housing and food even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“ALICE essential workers need our help now more than ever,” said Kiran Handa Gaudioso, CEO of United Way of Northern New Jersey. “United Way Tools for School offers companies, groups, clubs, places of worship, families and individuals a safe way to help neighbors facing unprecedented levels of need.”

For more information about making donations, holding a United Way Tools for School drive, visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/ToolsforSchool, email Lisa.Galonardo@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160, x503.