From July 29 through Aug. 18, customers can donate new school supplies and classroom needs at any in-store collection bin as part of the Walgreens Back to School Supply Drive. Needed items include paper, crayons, scissors, pencils, glue, markers, folders and erasers. The drugstore chain offers many must-have items for school supply needs where customers can conveniently pick up items to donate. With more than 7,900 stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, these supplies will reach thousands of students.
Walgreens is also a convenient and affordable shopping destination for more than the school supply list. On top of must-have items, the drugstore chain’s locations offer important health services including immunizations. Take Care Clinics, located at select Walgreens locations, offer back-to-school and sports physicals as well as immunizations.
“Walgreens is committed to helping the communities we serve and this school supply drive is one more meaningful way we can help ease the stress on parents and teachers who may be struggling with making ends meet,” said John Gremer, Walgreens director of community affairs. “With the help of our stores, employees and customers, we can all work together to help thousands of students have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”
According to a November 2011 New York Times article, all 50 states have reported significant increases in the number of children enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program, an indicator of the poverty level of families in the U.S. Eleven states had increases of more than 25 percent over the past four years, the highest increase in enrollment ever.
“This is a massive project that will help alleviate a massive problem. More than 14.8 million students in the United States live at or below the poverty line. When families are trying to overcome severe economic reverses, school supplies are not at the top of their necessity lists. To make matters worse, most school budgets no longer allocate for basic supplies,” said Dave Smith, executive director, Kids In Need Foundation. “We applaud Walgreens for this great effort. Working with them will help provide the school supplies to those students who would otherwise have to do without. In essence, this is another way Walgreens and its customers and communities can help those in need.”
Kids In Need Foundation has 27 resource centers across the country. Here, teachers from low-income schools can “shop” for free school supplies for their students and for other classroom supplies and teaching aides. At the end of the national school supply drive, these centers will collect donated supplies from area Walgreens locations.
“Boys and girls tell us things like ‘this is the first box of crayons I ever had’ or ‘I gave the notebook you gave me to my sister because she’s older than me and she never had a notebook before,’” said Smith. “When you receive a thank you letter or drawing from students who receive the free supplies we provide, you find these children have a true appreciation for what they’ve received. School supplies of their very own are precious to them.”
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,907 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
About the Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization with offices in Dayton, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1995, the Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The Kids In Need National Network of Resource Centers includes 27 facilities where teachers from low-income schools go to obtain free school supplies for their students. In addition, two Kids In Need Teacher Grant programs provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning experiences for students. The Kids In Need Foundation has distributed $400 million in school supplies since its founding, directly benefiting 2.2 million students and 100,000 teachers annually, and has awarded more than $1.3 million in grants to teachers. Kids In Need has received Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating for three consecutive years, indicating that it operates in a fiscally responsible way and outperforms most other charities in America. For more information, visit www.kinf.org. Follow Kids In Need Foundation on Twitter, http://twitter.com/kidsinneed.