You might also check with your school system to see if there are any
organized "give-aways". Memphis City-County Schools (or someone who does
this for them) organizes a huge teacher-giveaway every year before school
begins because there are so many underpriviledged kids in Memphis with few
being able to buy even the most basic supplies. We have lots of children who
don't even come to school until after the 1st of the month (and school begins
this year in the middle of August) because parents simply don't have the
resources to buy school supplies or school clothes (and our city school
system went to uniforms this year) until their Aid check arrives on Sept. 1.
The businesses in Memphis have joined together and keep a running store in
which teachers can bring their own bags and take home as much as they need. (
I think they run the store for a couple of weeks prior to school starting).
I was also in a class last summer in Education Leadership that one of men in
the class (an assistant-principal) said they had a local church who did a
clothes drive every year for new shoes, socks, you know, the basics and then
allowed parents referred by MIFA (Memphis Inter-faith Association) to come in
and shop for their children with church-issued store money (each family got
so much per child) so that children could attend school from the outset and
not have to wait until after Sept. 1.
If you access to local churches and businesses who want to do outreach into
your community, this might be a great way for them to help you and help out
worthy parents and kids.
I thought it was a wonderful idea, and this particular school was in a
relatively poor area of town with a mixed community and working class people.
(aren't we all!)
University of Memphis