MORRISTOWN, NJ - The United Way of Northern New Jersey is looking to residents to help with their Tools for School drive, which provides students with the basic tools needed to succeed in the classroom.

On Friday August 23, from 9am - 11:30am, donations can be dropped off at the United Way Office located at 222 Ridgedale Avenue in Cedar Knolls.

The drive seeks to benefit more than 12,000 elementary and middle school children of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and families in poverty throughout the northern New Jersey region.  

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United Way Tools for School seeks to lessen the strain on already strapped household budgets. According to a 2018 National Retail Federations survey, families were expected to spend an average of $122 per child on school supplies such as backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks and pencils. That does not include electronics, clothing, accessories or other school necessities.

 “United Way Tools for School offers companies, groups, clubs, places of worship, families and individuals the opportunity to provide students in need with basic school supplies,” United Way Chief Operating Officer Kiran Handa Gaudioso said. “As a community, we can assist ALICE families who are working hard but struggling to get by and give students the tools needed to start the school year on the right track.” 

Its to be donated could include: 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, tape, rulers, and scissors.  

Last year, with the help of 225 volunteers, supplies valued at $190,000 were collected and distributed to 66 elementary and middle schools and 16 nonprofit agencies throughout the northern New Jersey region.