School Supply Assistance

NOTE:  On-Going Services require current active participation in at least one other Moneytalk program working toward becoming financially stable.

Exceptions are being made due to COVID-19 until further notice.


When students arrive on the first day of school without a backpack, the supplies on the supply list, and new clothes, they are an instant target for bullying.  This service is designed to help these students get their school year off to a good start and help them have a good learning environment.

The School Supply Assistance service helps families in need by providing backpacks and all of the school supplies on their supply list.  These families can then use the money they saved for other necessities such as rent, utilities, and gas for the car.

Many organizations (churches, non-profits, and for-profits) have individuals, schools, an apartment complex, members of their congregation, clients, and employees who they help.  Moneytalk would like to partner with you in this effort by including you in our bulk purchasing opportunity and volunteers to help fill the backpacks.  Additional information is listed below.

Service Options:

There are 2 service options for the backpacks and school supplies.  These options, along with how the process works, are listed below.

Options 1: Client Request

  • Anyone can complete an application for a backpack and school supplies for each school aged child, teen, or college student.
  • In order to qualify, participation in financial coaching and/or other programming designed to help work toward financial stability is required.  The first coaching session must occur or have been scheduled prior to the end of June.  At least one coaching session must be completed prior to the receipt of the requested backpacks and school supplies.
  • We will notify everyone, no later than the end of June whether their application will be fulfilled or is declined, once fundraising has been completed and we know how many requests we have funding to support.

Option 2: Community Outreach Request

  • Businesses, churches, non-profits, and community groups can request backpacks and school supplies for those families they want to bless in this way.
  • As this is your organization’s community outreach, there is NO requirement for participation in financial coaching or other programming.
  • The sponsoring organization is responsible for providing the funds to cover the cost of the backpacks and supplies.  The sooner the funds can be provided the better, however, we have some flexibility on when Moneytalk needs to pay the vendors.
  • The sponsoring organization can select what items will be provided – everything on the students list, a generic set of supplies, only supplies, only backpacks, etc..
  • Both Moneytalk and the sponsoring organization will be able to insert about their organization and services available.
  • Moneytalk will have the opportunity to participate in the distribution of the items.
  • Moneytalk will be allowed to post the partnership / collaboration efforts on their website and social media.

Key Target Dates:

The 2021-2022 school year will be the first year using this school supply assistance process.  This will be similar to a grant application process.  The amount of funds received will be a primary determining factor for the number of students who will receive support.

As with all Ongoing Support Services, parent(s) will need to attend at least one financial literacy workshop or financial coaching session.  This is to be a hand-up, not a hand-out.

NOTE:  If backpacks and school supplies are provided as a result of a church, business, or other organization sponsorship, the financial literacy services will be available to the recipients, but not required unless the sponsoring organization decides financial literacy is a requirement.

The dates below are the current target dates for key milestones in the process:

  • March 1st – School Supply Assistance application window opens
  • May 31st – School Supply Assistance application window closes
  • May 31st – Partnering organizations will have turned in the number of students and list of supplies
  • June 1st – Funds needed for school supplies will be received (no more than 10% remaining in pledges)
  • June 1st – Acquire school supply lists for awarded students from the schools
  • June 15th – School supplies ordered
  • June 30th – Assistance awards announced (no later than this date, hopefully earlier)
  • Aug 1st week – Backpacks filled (depending on COVID restrictions at the time)
  • Aug 15th – Backpacks are distributed (depending on COVID restrictions, parents may be allowed to shop)
  • August 31st – Partnering organizations funding for the supplies is due @ estimated $25 per student

Donation, Volunteer, & Sponsor Opportunities:

There are many opportunities to get involved in providing this much needed service to support children in need and their families.

  • Financial donations are a critical piece.  Moneytalk will use the funds to purchase items in bulk at a discounted price allowing your money to go much further.  Where you can buy 1 item, we can purchase 10 of that same item.
  • Donate specific school supplies
  • Volunteer to help unload delivery of supplies, sort the supplies, and pack the backpacks
  • Volunteer to help when families come to pick up their backpacks

NOTE: The amount of funds received will be a primary determining factor for the number of students who will receive support.

Partnering Information:

If your church, non-profit, or for-profit business has an outreach program which includes families who need help providing backpacks and school supplies for their children, we would love to partner with you to make that happen.

A couple of notes:

  • The recipients will be offered participation in financial literacy and coaching, but it will not be required unless you want it to be a condition of their receiving assistance.
  • You may choose to provide ALL the supplies on the school supply list through this partnership or a list of items common to all/most grades.

Requirements of partnership:

  1. Let Teresa McGarry know you wish to participate by completing the contact us form, calling 913-538-1465, or emailing
  2. Provide the number of students and school supply list no later than the end of May.
  3. Provide the funding to cover the cost of the items – estimate $25 per student.
  4. Funds need to be received by August 31st.

Sponsor Benefits:

Benefits of sponsorship:

  • Shout out on LinkedIn
  • Shout out on business Facebook page and Twitter
  • Shout out on Moneytalk’s website

We recognize some businesses would rather sponsor, donate, and provide grants anonymously.  We will respect your wishes and keep your support anonymous.

Program History:

2019-2020 School Year

1,075 backpacks full of school supplies provided to students

The school supply assistance started as part of a Caring for Kids team effort with two Title 1 elementary schools located in Shawnee, KS.  Backpacks & school supplies were provided for 1,059 students in the 2 elementary schools, and 16 additional students across 6 other schools.

This approach does not support a significant principle of mission which is helping those in need become financially stable through financial literacy and coaching.  When working with an entire school in this way, we do not have access to the recipient and cannot confirm they are truly in need.

Also, Moneytalk experienced a huge financial risk by taking on the entire school population.  We had to focus our efforts on recovering from a $30,000 shortfall when committed financial support was not received.

2020-2021 School Year

Beginning the 2020-2021 school year, this service is being revamped to address the challenges from the previous school year’s experience.

Churches and other businesses will be able to sponsor an entire school or those students in need (most likely determined by the school’s social worker).  They will determine if all, some, or a generic list of supplies will be included in the backpacks.  They will also determine the recipients of the backpacks.

There will be a grant application process ensuring:

  • Only families in need are receiving the support
  • Recipients will be known and required to work with Moneytalk to get out of their current financial struggles and move toward financial stability
  • Minimize financial risk to Moneytalk by only approving as many applications as we have funds available to support

Lots of ways to donate:

Donations for the fundraiser can be made directly on this site, GoFundMe Charity, Paypal Giving Fund, Venmo, or by mail.

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Donations may also be made by:

Mail Check to:

P O Box 860184
Shawnee, KS 66286


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