NEWTON, N.J. – 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, allowing children to start the new school year with the basic tools needed for success in school.
The drive will benefit more than 9,500 elementary and middle school children of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and families in poverty throughout the northern New Jersey region.
United Way Tools for School seeks to lessen the strain on already strapped household budgets. Last year, on average, families with children in K-12 in the United States spent $108 on school supplies such as backpacks, notebooks and pencils, according to the National Retail Federation. That does not include electronics, clothing and accessories.
“ALICE families that are working hard but can’t keep up with the high cost of living are faced with having to choose between buying school supplies or paying for basic bills,” United Way Senior Vice President Kiran Gaudioso said. “Together, we can help ease this financial struggle and give students the basics to start off the school year on the right track.”
United Way is making it easier to make donations by partnering with YouGiveGoods.com again, which allows donors to make an online purchase of supplies that will be delivered automatically to United Way. Donations can be made by visiting www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/ToolsforSchool.
In addition, donations will be accepted throughout the five-county region of Morris, Suburban Essex, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties. The following is a list of drop-off locations by county:
- Morris County: On Tuesday, August 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., donations can be dropped off at the Morris County Library, 30 Hanover Way, in Whippany.
- Somerset County: On Monday, August 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., donations can be dropped off at United Reformed Church, 100 West Main St., in Somerville.
- *Suburban Essex County: on Monday, August 28 from 9:30 to 11 a.m., donations can be dropped off at the United Way office, 60 South Fullerton Ave., in Montclair.
- Sussex County: On Friday, August 25, from 9 to 11 a.m., donations can be dropped off at the United Way office, 2 Spring Street, in Newton.
- Warren County: On Thursday, August 17, from 9 a.m. to noon, donations can be dropped off at Taylor Street School, 16/24 Taylor St., in Washington.
Based on the needs expressed by local educators, United Way is collecting the following school supplies: 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, dry erase markers, and scissors. In addition, school nurses have asked for personal care items such as toothbrushes, deodorant, Band-Aids, 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.
Last year, with the help of 229 volunteers, supplies valued at $104,000 were collected and distributed to 60 elementary and middle schools and 9 nonprofit agencies throughout the northern New Jersey region.
For more information about making donations, holding a United Way Tools for School drive, or to volunteer with sorting supplies, visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/ToolsforSchool, email Lisa.Galonardo@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160, x503.
*Suburban Essex County towns served by United Way of Northern New Jersey include the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona.
About United Way of Northern New Jersey
United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization working to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities by focusing on Education, Income, and Health. These are the building blocks for a good life – a quality education that leads to a stable job; the tools needed to achieve financial stability; and good health. We lead caring communities to create long-lasting changes that transform people’s lives. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County, including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona. Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.