Supply Drive for Kids

Impact Area

Help Neighbors in NeedTutor/Mentor ChildrenWelcome ImmigrantsOther

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Organized by the MCAEL

Organization Served & URL

• families attending adult literacy classes sponsored by MCAEL

Project Goal/Description

To provide something for younger children whose parents are in adult literacy classes connected to MCAEL, in order to keep the children occupied while the adults are learning English. To collect sufficient materials to make supply kits for children without having to buy new stuff. Kids go through their drawers and house, gathering up old crayons, markers, sticker books, and other small items (such as McDonald’s Happy Meal toys) that they don’t use any more. Some also ask their neighbors for items. Four girls brought all the stuff they collected and spent an evening putting packets together in party bags, labeling them for specific ages and genders.

Timeline for Planning


      Contact MCAEL or similar organization to gauge the need for children’s supplies and    coordinate day/time for drop-off.

  • About 2 weeks in advance: Talk to friends, colleagues, or family to find supplies and toys no longer being used.
  • At least a week before: If children are students interested in earning SSL hours, seek SSL approval for the project.
  •  Day of: Show up with lots to do for children of adults taking MCAEL classes.  


How Many Volunteers

As many as you can provide---at least 8 would be ideal. Time Commitment: About 10 hours, including collection and sorting plus one hour for drop-off.

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

Publicity can be done through outreach. This particular supply drive was organized by the mom’s book club. One friend happened to have tons of books to include in the kits.

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

The only expenses were party bags and larger bags, ribbon for tying, and some small snacks.


It can be difficult to coordinate a time for all the children to meet and put together the kits, so consider dividing the group and having multiple meeting times.

Group Type

Cultural/Ethnic GroupNonprofit

Strategic Priority Addressed

A strong and vibrant economyVital living for all our residents


There were about 100 supply packs that were “adorable!” said Caroline Pisano, the organizer. All the students got SSL hours. “Collection was so amazing to me because there’s just so much stuff sitting around people’s houses and we showed kids that the stuff that is sitting around can go to good use. And when the kids put the stuff in packets, it became a fun evening,” she said.

Special Points of Interest

  • Very good for middle school students, because they’re old enough to put the packets together, and to part with toys they no longer use.
  • Seek SSL approval beforehand.
  • A group of 4 is about right to do this project together. They need space to spread things out.