Back to school supplies

It's hard to get out of summer mode and get back into school after a long, relaxing vacation (particularly when the weather is still gorgeous, like it is here in San Diego)! It can be especially difficult on families who don't have the proper supplies. To help disadvantaged students who might be having a hard time this year, a group of us bloggers got together to build back to school kits through Elmer's #BagItForward program. This oughta get those kids excited about new learning opportunities!

back to school

The idea behind Bag-It-Forward is simple: when you're at the store, pick up an extra set of school supplies and donate it to charity. It's an easy gesture since anyone with kids inevitably ends up in the school supply section each year, and there are tons of incredible sales that can help you provide products for your family and others at an incredibly low price. This charitable act is something you can involve your own children in and get them excited to help others, too. You could even make a project of it for back to school encouragement for youngsters who may not be entirely thrilled at the prospect of breaking away from mom and dad quite yet.

Back to school encouragement

For the big Bag-It-Forward meet up we planned here in San Diego, I went shopping at Walmart (see photos of the shop over on Intersect) and got a TON of stuff. Local bloggers and I met up at a nearby restaurant for food, networking and fun charity work! We stuffed over fifty bags chock-full of fun supplies like Elmer's School Glue, Elmer's Supply Cases, Elmer's Durable Binder Pouches, Elmer's Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, pens, pencils, composition notebooks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, notebook paper, rulers folders and dividers. Each blogger wrote inspiring phrases on each bag to help motivate the students. These kids will be totally set for school. This idea could be totally helpful for getting your own kids ready for school as well: stick little notes around their back to school stuff. Write things like “You Rock!” on their post-its and “Shoot for the Stars!” on their new pack of index cards. For younger kids in particular, you can make school a good experience with positive reinforcement.

We decided to donate the bags to local charity Promises2Kids, which provides support for abused and neglected kids. Along with fighting continually against child abuse, they offer an emergency shelter for kids and a high school for foster children. The foundation has helped over 166,000 children since their inception 30 years ago! As a survivor of child abuse myself, this is a cause which is very dear to my heart and I want to encourage everyone to take time to donate if you are able. It seems like such a small thing but it really can make a difference for someone in need. If you do donate items, go to BagItForward.org and upload a picture to encourage others to do the same!

bag it forward

Now through through September 1, Elmer's will also be donating a product to kids in need for every “like” they receive on their Facebook page. You can donate again by watching a video on the Elmer’s Kids In Need Facebook tab and sharing it with your friends and family. Elmer's is also a Upromise partner, which means that every time you purchase an Elmer's or Krazy Glue product with your registered drug or grocery card, a percentage of your purchase will be put into your Upromise account. You can get full details on the program at Elmers.com.

Special thanks to San Diego Bargain Mama and Happy Healthy Hip Parenting for helping make this event possible. This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer's #BagItForward #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.