About the Gear for Grades School Supplies Drive
The deadline to donate school supplies to the Homeless Children’s Education Fund’s yearly Gear for Grades School Supplies Drive is Friday, August 7.
Gear for Grades is an initiative to provide children who are experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County with supplies they will need for the school year. The drive helps homeless children fit in with their peers by supplying them with a new backpack filled with supplies on the first day of school.
HCEF staff members collect school supplies throughout the summer to fill thousands of backpacks. Then, on August 21, staff and volunteers will travel by school bus to deliver stuffed backpacks to partnering homeless housing agencies. From there, the backpacks will be distributed to children in need.
So, what can you donate? Any new school supplies. Pencils, crayons, folders, notebooks and pens, among other items, are greatly appreciated. Here’s a more detailed list of supplies you can donate. Just drop of your donation at the HCEF office on Smallman Street, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a collection box.
HCEF asks for new school supplies–nothing that has already been used–to ensure each child experiencing homelessness starts the school year with the same items as their stably-housed peers.
Last year, over 2,400 backpacks were distributed in Allegheny County to 26 homeless programs and 28 schools and community organizations. HCEF hopes to exceed the generosity of last year and provide even more children with supplies.
If you will be unable to purchase items for donation, you can make a financial contribution in place of school supplies! Just visit the HCEF donations page or send your check to Homeless Children’s Education Fund, 2020 Smallman Street, 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
About Homeless Children’s Education Fund
The Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) was established in 1999 in response to the effect of homelessness on children’s self esteem and academic progress Dr. Joseph F. Lagana witnessed during his career in education. Lagana and the HCEF have since been devoted to raising awareness of homelessness among children in Allegheny County and providing support for them through community engagement.
Businesses, community foundations and political figures have contributed to HCEF, which has led to the establishment of Learning Centers and Resource Libraries with computers, books and educational software for every age and reading level. Workshops on bullying, health issues, and utilizing art and storytelling are provided to staff members to ensure children receive a well-rounded experience.