Since children need a fresh start for each upcoming school year, United Way Tools for School is designed to provide children from ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and poverty-level families in the region with new school supplies.

Each year, more than 45,000 items are collected by participating organizations and volunteers and distributed to more than 60 schools and community organizations serving children.  

Children who receive supplies through this program have the tools they need to begin the school year ready to learn. For struggling parents, providing the necessary school supplies can be a financial hardship. United Way Tools for School helps to ensure children from low-income and ALICE families in our communities are prepared for academic success as they begin a new school year. 

Getting involved is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Organize a drive. Reach out to family, friends, and colleagues to collect new school supplies.  Items can be dropped off at locations throughout our region. Locations will be announced in early summer. Please keep an eye on our events calendar, where we will post more information about collection dates and drop-off locations as they become available.The list of supplies include backpacks, bandages, binders/3 ring notebooks, book covers, calculators, children's clothes, colored pencils, composition notebooks, construction paper, crayons, erasers, filler paper, gift cards for children's shoes/clothing, glue, highlighters, index cards, lunch boxes, markers, pencils, pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, pens, pocket folders, rulers, scissors, spiral notebooks, and tape.
  2. Make a donation. Those wishing to make a donation can donate via a secure online payment system at Or checks can be sent to United Way of Northern New Jersey, P.O. Box 1948, Morristown, NJ 07962. Note: Make the check payable to “United Way of Northern New Jersey” with “Tools for School” on the memo line. This year, United Way is also teaming up with to accept online school supply donations for children in our communities. You will have the opportunity to purchase a backpack for a child in need and will deliver these supplies for you! Check back soon for more information.
  3. Sign up as a volunteer. Volunteers are essential to the success of this program. Tasks include counting, sorting, and organizing supplies to be distributed to organizations and schools throughout our region. If you, your family, or a group you are affiliated with would like to sign up to help with the coordination and distribution of school supplies, click here.
    For questions or to learn more, email Lisa Galonardo or call 973-993-1160, ext. 503.