Past, present, and future Redbirds have the opportunity this summer to support local children through a school supply drive for the Back to School Alliance. The drive is a partnership among Alumni Engagement, the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), and University College.
The drive kicks off in June as part of #RedbirdImpact Month, a partnership between the Alumni Association’s Redbird Engagement and Development Committee and CCE.
Redbirds are encouraged to exhibit the University’s core value of civic engagement and make their #RedbirdImpact throughout the month. A day of service will also be held locally on June 19, and many alumni networks will also hold events throughout the country.
Alumni, faculty, and staff are encouraged to purchase school supplies for the drive, and all donations will be given to the Back to School Alliance (BTSA). BTSA is a local nonprofit organization that works to put backpacks and school supplies into the hands of students in need prior to the start of the school year.
A list of supplies is available on the BTSA website and listed below as well. Local donations can be dropped off at the Alumni Engagement Office in the Alumni Center (1101 N. Main Street, Normal) or at the Center for Civic Engagement (300 W. North Street, Normal), between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. An Amazon wish list is also available, with items shipping directly to BTSA.
“We wanted to offer a virtual option for alumni who might not be in the Bloomington-Normal area or who might not be able to participate in a service activity,” said Stephanie Duquenne, director of homecoming, reunions, and advocacy for Alumni Engagement. “The Amazon wish list option allows Redbirds all over the country and world to be able to take part in the school supply drive.”
The drive will also be included in the University’s Preview program for incoming freshmen, hosted by University College. While Preview will be predominantly virtual again this year, the optional First Year Feature events being planned for July will bring some incoming students to campus. (Information on First Year Feature will be sent to incoming students in the coming weeks.)
“We have hosted a school supply drive during Preview for well over a decade,” said Corey Burgess, Preview coordinator in University College. “It’s a great way to introduce and promote the University’s core value of civic engagement to our incoming freshmen and their families.”
Students who would like to contribute to the school supply drive but are only attending virtual Preview are encouraged to contribute through the Amazon wish list. Those attending First Year Feature can drop off their donations at check-in or at the CCE table during the Preview Expo.
Incoming freshmen will likely see these school supply donations again during Welcome Week, too. Each year CCE partners with BTSA and hosts a service project on the Quad during Welcome Week where students are encouraged to volunteer and pack donated supplies into backpacks. The backpacks are then distributed to local children by BTSA.
“It’s an amazing partnership that we’ve had with Back to School Alliance for several years now,” said Annie Weaver, assistant director of co-curricular programs at CCE. “And service work to help local children is a great way for Redbirds to kick off the new academic year on campus, too.”
School Supply Drive Details At a Glance…
Taking place: June and July
Virtual donations: Amazon wish list
Drop-Off Locations for Local Donations:
- Monday to Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- Alumni Engagement Office in the Alumni Center (1101 N. Main Street, Normal)
- Center for Civic Engagement (300 W. North Street, Normal)
- Backpack (13–18”)
- Zippered Binder (1.5–2”)
- Divider Tabs (5 count)
- 2-Pocket Folders
- Index Cards (3×5” lined)
- Loose Paper (Wide Ruled)
- Spiral Notebook (Wide Ruled, 70 pages)
- 3-Ring Binder (1.5”)
- #2 Pencils (12 count box)
- Ruler (Standard/Metric, 12”)
- Colored Pencils (12 count box)
- Glue Sticks (Washable)
- Markers (Washable, thick, standard colors)
- Crayons (23 count box)
- Fiskar Scissors
- Pink Eraser
- Pens (Black and Blue, 10 or 12 count package)