On Wednesday, I mentioned that my niece needed to go back to school shopping, and I was the lucky aunt to help her along! She's like my little buddy, and I even taught her how to sew several weeks ago. :) We had another mission in mind, to participate in Elmer's Bag It Forward movement! It's a great cause to help provide quality school supplies for local children and teachers by donating a bag of school supplies to help your community. Also, if you haven't heard of Champions for Kids, it is a great organization that strives to give kids the resources they need to thrive. What a perfect combination!
So you may be wondering, why would a girl with no kids want to participate in this? Here's why this is so important to me.
As long as I can remember, I have been mentoring kids. When I was in middle school and high school, I tutored children in math. (Math-lete for life!) In college, I joined a great organization where I helped two children from disadvantaged backgrounds with their literacy skills. That is definitely when the bug bit me! During graduate school, I joined Big Brothers, Big Sisters and I was matched with a girl who was in a tough situation. She came from a supportive and loving family, who were very poor, without many resources. Initially, she was doing terrible in school and wanted to become a beautician. With a bit of mentoring and sister hang-out time, she actually changed her career plans. Now, she is currently in college with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. My how time flies!
I have also spent a significant amount of time working in a pediatric obesity clinic, with the vast majority of the families coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. We would organize fun activities for the kids, and their favorite reward items were school supplies!
Because of my passion for working with children, I was excited to have the chance to spread the word about Bag It Forward with my friends, family, and you guys!
Here's what we did to give back!
First, we headed to the Walmart with my little buddy's list in hand! We decided beforehand that she could pick out the items on her list, but we would have to agree on items that could work for a girl or a boy for our donation bag.
It had been years since I needed school supplies, so I was nervous to get lost in our huge local store. I really shouldn't have been so apprehensive because there was a huge school bus display and tons of signs all around. There were aisles and aisles of supplies to choose from. So many kids were excited to buy their supplies, that I kept taking pictures of children running down the aisles by accident!
My guy was along for the shopping trip, so he pointed out his favorite folder of the bunch. TNMT! I totally rocked the Lisa Frank school supplies myself, once upon a time. :)
All in all, we got a TON of school supplies!
Each backpack had the following: binder, dividers, notebook paper, folder, writing pad, markers, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, pencil case, glue stick, disappearing glue, index cards, and highlighters. All of this for just under $25 each, including the backpack!
|My little buddy got the dolphin folder!|
So, what do you do after buying the school supplies? Donate them to a local teacher, school, or organization in your community. Then, share your project here and with your friends and family!
We decided to stuff the backpack full of the supplies we bought and donate it at our local women's shelter. When we were kids, we regularly donated clothing, because mothers who had children were sometimes not able to support them. This would be another great gift to those children in a tough situation!
|Our donation is on the left. Little buddy wanted to show off her school supplies as well. :) It's a bright backpack for sure!|
I'm so glad that I had the chance to share this with you guys, and I hope that you can participate along with your friends and families. My very large family and I have made an activity of volunteering at food banks, and I am definitely going to suggest this for our next "give-back" session!
For anyone interested in participating, make sure to check out the links below and my Google+ Album with more detailed pictures of my shopping trip!
Champions for Kids: http://championsforkids.org/elmers
BagItForward.org: http://bagitforward.org/, Pinterest
Elmer’s: Facebook, Twitter