Backpacks to School


Backpacks to School

The Sharing Shelf believes every child deserves to start the school year ready to learn, with a backpack filled with the supplies she needs. The first day of school can be one of joy and excitement for a child, a new backpack freshly filled with new school supplies for the coming year. For other children, the first day can be one of stress as they approach the school door, without the tools they need to start the year.  The average family spends $122 on school supplies, a sum out of reach for low-income families and those living below the poverty level.

Each summer, The Sharing Shelf organizes its Backpacks to School initiative to buy new backpacks and fill them with grade appropriate school supplies for low-income children in Westchester County. Since 2011, The Sharing Shelf has provided 7,000 backpacks to children in over 40 school districts county-wide.  The program has grown to become the primary source of backpacks for children receiving services from Westchester County’s Department of Social Services.

Our backpacks are filled with grade-appropriate supplies for children from kindergarten through high school. Local teachers helped shape our supply lists and each bag contains the core requirements a student needs for each of her or his subject matter classes. Each backpack we provide goes to a specific child – those working with low-income students request backpacks each summer for their clients or students who, based on economic reasons, need a new backpack and supplies.

The Sharing Shelf plans to fill at least 1,250 backpacks and seeks to raise $35,000 for this project. Volunteers will gather at The Sharing Shelf in August to help assemble the backpacks. Everything will be distributed before Labor Day to children throughout Westchester County.

The backpacks and supplies are critical to the academic success of low-income children and allow them to return to school prepared, confident, and ready to learn.

We welcome and rely on local businesses, community groups and individuals to help raise funds, collect supplies, then pack and distribute the backpacks. To get involved, please email Deborah Blatt, Program Director, at


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Volunteer: Click Here

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