Time is ticking for kids to enjoy the end of their summer break as calendars turn into August, and stress levels can rise as back-to-school activities beckon to millions of families nationwide.

Parents will soon be scavenging the store aisles to grab the school supply items requested by that oh-so-specific new teacher, but amid the hustle and bustle of nabbing deals and buying new clothes is an often overlooked reality: many kids are without these basic back-to-school necessities.

Obtaining the necessary supplies – which range from clothing to calculators – can be a costly feat: the average family will spend $670 this year on supplies and clothing. The biggest cost for back-to-school shoppers? Apparel and accessories, followed by electronics.

That’s why each year The Salvation Army coordinates back-to-school events and distributions for families in need of a helping hand. From collecting supplies from local donors and partnering businesses, to stuffing backpacks and coordinating events, The Salvation Army relies on the hearts and hands of supporters and volunteers to make these events possible.

Join Us!

You may feel as if your family is on the brink stressful school year, so why not relish these last days of summer vacation by volunteering together? Many locations of The Salvation Army rely on volunteers to coordinate back-to-school events and hand out supplies. Contact your local Salvation Army for opportunities today by entering your zip code at centralusa.salvationarmy.org/usc/locations.

Don’t have the time to volunteer? The next time you’re at Target or Walmart, grab some extra school supplies for local kids in need and drop them off at a Salvation Army near you.

Some commonly needed items include backpacks, pencils, erasers, pencil boxes, pens, colored pencils, highlighters, rulers, scissors, gluesticks, glue, folders, notebooks, folders, crayons, and markers.

Looking for Assistance?

We have received many questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages about how to sign up for back-to-school assistance. Many locations are holding events throughout August, so the sooner you contact your local Salvation Army to request assistance, the better. Find a list of locations by entering your city or zip code at centralusa.salvationarmy.org/usc/locations.

Below are some news articles detailing various upcoming school supply distributions. Be sure to contact your local Salvation Army for info in your area!

Owosso, MI - http://www.argus-press.com/news/community/owosso/article_5495ac20-1e3b-11e4-95f0-001a4bcf887a.html

Omaha, NE - http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/0fdaf7c28ec848189e234c50c6735a18/NE--Backpack-Program/

Dekalb, IL - http://www.daily-chronicle.com/2014/08/05/dekalb-salvation-army-passes-out-550-backpacks/acyeb9e/

Lafayette, IN - http://wlfi.com/2014/08/05/as-distribution-day-nears-still-plenty-of-time-to-help-tools-for-school/