Join Us in Sending Children

Back to a Safe and Beautified School with the Tools They Need to Succeed

All children should feel safe, welcomed and equipped for success on their first day back to school. But more than 63% of students start the school year without the necessary supplies¹ and 90% of educators spend money out of their own pockets to provide supplies for under-resourced students.²
That’s why we work to support our youth.
You can join us in making a difference for Central Alabama students through our annual Back-to-School Campaign.

Donate to support students

How you can help

1. Donate Backpacks and Supplies for our Backpack Drive.

United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) will host a backpack drive from July 8th through 26th to gather backpacks and school supplies for students in need. See all the options for donation below and explore our school supply list at the bottom of this page to see the items in greatest need.

Select from our Amazon Wishlist

Purchase backpacks and supplies via our Amazon Wishlist.

Amazon Wishlist

Make a Financial Contribution

Simply visit the online donation page to ensure that your donation goes directly to the Back-to-School campaign.


Shop & Donate Locally

Purchase backpacks and school supplies locally, then drop them off at any of our designated sites.

Donation Drop-off Sites

2. Volunteer for a Back-to-School Beautification project.

United Way of Central Alabama will organize Back-to-School Beautification projects from July 15th through 20th. Be part of transforming school campuses into vibrant, inspiring spaces where children can thrive. Your time and talent make a lasting impact.

Back to School Beautification


Find a Back-to-School Beautification Project and register to volunteer on InVOLve.


3. Become a Back-to-School Sponsor.

Our Back-to-School Sponsorship opportunities offer a variety of ways to make a meaningful impact:

School Beautification Sponsorship – $1,000

  • Covers the cost of equipment needed for a school cleanup, including exterior and interior work requested by the school.
  • Sponsorship includes corporate recognition in all media surrounding the event.
  • Sponsor company has first access to volunteering for the school clean-up event itself.

Backpack Drive Sponsorship – $1,500

  • Covers the cost of 100 fully packed backpacks.
  • Sponsorship includes corporate recognition in all media surrounding the event and branding that would be included in the backpacks, materials, etc.
  • Sponsor has first access to supply volunteers for packing donated backpacks.
  • Sponsor has first access to be present to distribute the backpacks to the school/organization and the students receiving them.

To become a sponsor or get further information, contact Rachael Upton at


Sponsor a School Beautification Project or Backpack Drive to invest in a brighter future for Central Alabama students.


School Supply List

  • Clear plastic and mesh backpacks
  • Composition notebook
  • Packs of loose-leaf paper (wide ruled)
  • 3-prong plastic folders
  • Packs of pre-sharpened #2 pencils (12-pack preferred)
  • Pack of red pens
  • Student scissors
  • Box of crayons (12 or 24 pack preferred)
  • Box of colored pencils
  • Box of markers
  • Pack of permanent markers/Sharpie
  • Liquid glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Quart-size and gallon-sized Ziplock bags
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer
  • Index cards (3×5 and 5×8)
  • Dry erase markers
  • Large pencil pouches
  • Packs of white copy paper
  • Packs of cardstock paper (multicolor)
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Boxes of facial tissue
  • 1″ and 1.5″ binders with clear plastic cover and pockets
  • Plastic binder dividers
  • Clorox wipes
  • Highlighters
  • Packs of eraser caps
  • Block erasers
  • Plastic pocket folders with 3 holes
  • Sheet protectors
  • Baby wipes
  • Lysol

Donation Drop-Off Locations

By county, physical drop-off locations include:

Together, let’s equip students for success and brighten their educational journey!

Learn More About How UWCA Supports Youth

Latest News about How UWCA Helps Students


¹ Kids In Need Foundation, “Our Impact.”

² National Education Association, “Out-of-Pocket Spending on School Supplies Adds to Strain on Educators.”