It’s back-to-school time, and although that may look different now during a pandemic, there are still ways for you to make a difference in the lives of children and teachers in your community with our Difference Maker Fund program.
If your application is approved, this member program provides up to $200 in funding for a volunteer project. Choose the cause you want to support through volunteerism and then it’s as easy as applying, receiving the funds, and sharing your story with us! Learn more and apply here.
Need help with an idea? Here are four back-to-school ideas including how to do them in a socially distanced way!
1. Organize a school supply drive
Not all students have the luxury of new school supplies at the start of each school year. By rallying with your community members, a school supply drive can help support the students that may need some extra supplies as they head back to the classroom. Remember to reach out to your school of choice that you will be supporting for a list of recommended supplies so that you can share with potential donors.
To keep from sharing germs, identify a drop-off location such as a bin outside your home or coordinate a “pop-a-trunk” event where supplies are placed in a trunk, the donor drives up, pops their trunk, you grab the supplies, and they drive off.
2. Put together “Welcome Back” bags for teachers
We often forget that it’s a new school year for our teachers as well! This year, as they face new guidelines and requirements in the classroom and teaching online, Welcome Back bags can be a fun way to share your gratitude for these wonderful educators. These bags could include post it notes, pens, coffee, sweets, stickers, etc. Whatever you decide to fill these bags with will be sure to brighten any teacher’s day!
We encourage your volunteers to wash their hands prior to packing items and wear gloves while packaging items if possible. Including a note that bags were prepared with clean hands can provide peace of mind to the recipients.
3. Adopt a Student
There are many students that may need some extra help as the new school year is kicked off. When one student gets to go back to school shopping and arrives on the first day with new shoes – others often don’t get to experience this excitement. The Difference Maker Fund program can help you to adopt one or more students and set them up with all the fun school supplies they need to start the year on the right foot. Reach out to your local school and they can provide you with information to support a student. .
4. Collect Paper Products, Disinfectant Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
What teacher doesn’t need an extra supply of tissues, paper towel, anti-bacterial wipes or hand sanitizer? Now, they need it more than ever! Start a collection drive for these items and reach out to other community members to support your efforts. You can use the funds you receive from the Difference Maker Fund program to purchase supplies needed for the collection drive and use the rest to purchase a bulk amount of these items for your local school. At the start of the school year, make a special delivery to your local school to share with teachers and staff. Check out what an Iowa Chapter did last fall!
Ready to get started on your Difference Maker Fund project? Learn more and apply here.