Cradles to Crayons Will Receive Local Donations
from Walgreens’ Back To School Supply Drive
• Walgreens stores across the country will accept donations from July 28 to Aug. 24
• Donated school supplies will be distributed to students in communities surrounding the stores
Cradles to Crayons, which addresses the poverty faced by one in five children in the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania area – providing much-needed school supplies and backpacks for disadvantaged children to enable them to succeed in school, will be the recipient locally of school supply donations made at Walgreens stores during their Back To School Supply Drive.
Participating Walgreens stores in this area include 119 E. DeKalb Pike in King of Prussia, 3308 DeKalb Pike in East Norriton, and 1100 W. Main Street, 2803 W. Main Street, and 699 W. Germantown Pike in Norristown.
From July 28 through Aug. 24, Walgreens customers nationwide can donate new school supplies and other classroom materials by placing their donations in the in-store collection bins. Students’ and teachers’ wish lists include basic school supplies, such as paper, crayons, scissors, pencils, pens, glue, markers, folders, and erasers, as well as other items used in classrooms every day, such as tissues and hand sanitizers. The drugstores offer a wide selection of must-have and wished-for items that customers can choose to purchase and donate.
For the second year, Walgreens teamed up with The Kids In Need Foundation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school-children and under-funded teachers.
“Walgreens purpose is to help people get, stay and live well, and we’re pleased to share this through our community commitment,” said John Gremer director of community affairs at Walgreens. “With the help of our stores, employees and customers, we can all work together to help thousands of students start the school year prepared to succeed.”
“This is a big project, and we commend Walgreens for being willing to sponsor this effort,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Kids In Need Foundation. “When families are struggling to feed and clothe their children, school supplies are not their top priority, even though they understand they are sorely needed. Cuts in budgets mean schools are not filling the gap. Many teachers spend money out of their own pockets to supplement the needs of their students, just so kids can try to keep up with school work. We are pleased to be able to pass along Walgreens’ generosity to Cradles to Crayons.”
“Cradles to Crayons is one of the only organizations not only supplying backpacks to children in need in the region, but also ensuring that they stay filled year round,” said Michal Smith, executive director of Cradles to Crayons, “so that more children will have the essential items they need to go to school, stay in school and succeed in the classroom. Through Walgreens’ exceptional community commitment,” Smith continued, “we have an added boost to help give children from low-income backgrounds the tools and confidence boost they need as they start a new year at school.”
More and more children need help to be fully prepared for the classroom. In 2010, the latest year for which statistics are available, school cafeterias served more than five billion lunches, with more than half being supplied free or at a reduced cost, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service. This means that one out of every two school-age children in the United States is at or below what the USDA considers poverty level.
In Philadelphia alone, 39 percent of children live below the federal poverty level. As a result, parents from economically-challenged backgrounds often find it difficult to provide their children with the most basic school supplies.
Last year, the Kids In Need Foundation mobilized thousands of volunteers across the country to collect the donations at the Walgreens stores and then distribute them to students in their own communities. Taking part in the collection of supplies from the stores means that Cradles to Crayons will be able to get these supplies to where they are so critically needed.
Dave Smith said consumers might be surprised to learn that many children have never owned their own notebooks or pencils or crayons. “Think what it must be like for these students to have to worry everyday about how they are going to do their work in the classroom or their homework in the evening,” Smith said. “Children should have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom, not be held back by circumstances over which they have no control, and the Walgreens Back To School Supply Drive helps to provide those opportunities.”