Education is something that I’m incredibly passionate about. I remember the first time that I was able to donate to help someone’s education. I was in third grade and at the end of the year, my teacher collected extra school supplies that we wouldn’t be using to give to classrooms in need. So my lightly-used crayons went to serve in a different classroom to help a kid wanting to learn. I remember feeling incredibly proud of my (small) sacrifice and glad that someone else would get to benefit from my supplies instead of letting them go to waste.
Since that time, I’ve found that I’m always a little more willing to donate money, time, or resources when there is education involved. If it’s going to help someone learn and better themselves, I’m all in.
If you have a similar mindset, I’ve put together some bookish (and education-related) charities that you can donate to. This way, we can kick off the school year on a good note.
If you already help in classrooms around the world as a teacher, administrator, volunteer, dedicated student, or monetary contributor, thank you for your time and assistance. Without people like you, our school systems would not be nearly as beneficial as they are today. And, with more people out there who are willing to help (and be innovative), we can make our school systems even better.
- Donors Choose - On this website, teachers post contributions they need and list exactly what materials they’re planning on buying, the projects they’ll use the funds to do, and how this will benefit their classrooms. You can search by location, subject, amount of money requested, age group, resources needed, type of project, school districts, etc. You’re also able to ask for thank you notes from the students so that you can see how your donation is benefitting the classroom and hear firsthand how wonderful it’s made their educational experience. When I went on this site, I was able to find a teacher from my elementary school - who I found out had taught my youngest sibling years ago. I was able to give some money towards a science project she wants to do with her elementary school students and it was wonderful to know that the money was benefitting kids in a school and community I know and love. The request for donations is still open, so I haven’t received any crayon-drawn thank you notes yet, but I’m excited to be part of something that will benefit young kids’ lives.
- Pencils of Promise - This group works to ensure that children around the world get the education they need to get by. In addition to funding several schools in third world countries, Pencils of Promise raises funds to provide training and resources to teachers in need so that students can become proficient in reading, writing, and math. They also raise awareness in schools about basic hygiene and have given funds to build hand-washing stations in many schools that don’t have enough for the students. Their results are impressive. While I haven’t officially donated to their foundation, I have set up my Amazon.com account to donate a portion of my purchases to the foundation (you can learn how to do that here). So far, I’ve only donated 34 cents, but it’s a start (and I keep forgetting to log onto Amazon Smile instead of my regular Amazon account, so things will get better once I remember that).
- Crayons to Classrooms - This Ohio-based group provides classroom supplies to area classrooms at no cost to the teacher or the school. While their work primarily focuses on Ohio schools that are below the federal poverty line, this is one way to directly benefit schools and children who really need to assistance.
- Youth Journalism International - This program is open to youth 12-24 who are interested in journalism. Youth Journalism International provides these youth with training, connects them with like-minded peers, and helps promote cultural understanding. Their blog also has many articles written by youth in the program.
- Free2Luv - This program works to stop bullying in schools (especially for LGBTQ+ youth) and to encourage students to be unique, innovative, and themselves. The focus is on making schools safer, more accepting, and kinder places for all students.
Are there any school-related charities you’re passionate about? Where do you donate when you have some extra cash?