When it comes to school supplies, I'm a big nerd and I love buying them. Even before I had a child, I was always in the school supply aisle grabbing up paper, pens, and notebooks to use around the house. The prices are just so great this time of year!
I was shopping with The Boy this past weekend and we noticed that the school supplies were already popping up in Walmart and I had to check them out. I noticed that the school supply list holders were featured by Elmer's and then saw this Elmer's 1st Day App that can be loaded onto a smartphone.
I scanned the QR code and within seconds had the app on my phone. I found out that for every photo uploaded with the 1st Day App, Elmer's will donate one product to the Kids in Need Foundation (up to 200,000 products!).
Elmer’s is committed to the education of children and innovation for educators who inspire them to learn. With that in mind, the company is a proud sponsor of The Kids In Need Foundation and currently supports the Elmer's Teacher Tool Kit Program to provide much-needed funding and supplied to educators. Based on the success of this partnership, Elmer’s chose to donate additional resources to The Kids in Need Foundation through this 1st DayTM initiative.
For the past few months, my family has become more involved in giving than I ever thought possible. We have participated in several SIMPLE Service Projects through Champions for Kids and we have been honored to help others in need. I decided that The Boy and I would use this opportunity to participate in the Bag It Forward program through Elmer's and Champions for Kids!
#BagItForward is a movement and a call to action. People across the country have joined together to help provide school supplies for the children and teachers in their local communities. On average, teachers spend $356 of their personal money on quality school supplies every year.
Where to Donate
The idea behind the Bag It Forward movement is simple. When you are shopping for your child's school supplies this year, buy an extra item and donate – "Buy Two, Give One". There are also so many other ways to help on the Bag It Forward website.
Since my boy is not ready to buy school supplies yet, we decided to buy for a friend of his who is slightly older – and starting Pre-K this year – and then to buy for the daughter of his favorite daycare teacher.
About Vicki S
My son has attended YMCA daycare since he was 2 months old and he is now 4.5. As you can imagine, he has had a lot of teachers who have loved on him and who he has loved back. He has seen a lot of special teachers leave as well.
Almost a year ago, a new teacher started named Vicki and at first I was a little hesitant to "like" her. She took to my boy immediately and absolutely loves him. When the daycare directors tried to keep him in the 2 year old room when he turned 3 because he was not completely potty trained, we pushed enough and he moved up. That was just before Vicki started and when she did, she immediately started working with him on the potty. She basically single-handedly taught him to potty. We tried EVERYTHING and she did it.
Vicki was so patient with him and she helped him go potty for the first time at daycare! She would praise him and praise him. She bought actual gifts for him (not just a sucker or a sticker) that she would save at daycare for the days when he went. She also had a large toy dragon that her daughter didn't want that she brought to him.
Last month, my boy went on vacation with his Granny and when he returned we had some MAJOR issues with his behavior. It is NOT like him to have issues like he was having. We knew that one of his teachers was leaving while he was gone so we were able to talk to him about Ms. Ashley and he said goodbye. One day in the middle of the week, a teacher was asking me about the behavior problems and what we could do to help or they could do different and she mentioned that Vicki had "left suddenly" while he was gone. I was in tears because I knew that was a major reason why Benjamin was having issues. He loves Vicki and thrives in routine. He left for a week and when he returned, his whole world was turned upside down.
We found out that Vicki is working as a waitress at a new Denny's that has opened up in town so we went there for dinner one Sunday so The Boy could see her. He was so excited that he had to wear his new shoes and take his "baby" so he could show her. I thought he was going to jump out of his skin he was so excited.
After seeing how excited my boy was to see her, and how excited he gets when we gives something to someone else, I knew he would love to shop with me for this special donation.
It was so easy to find quality school supplies at low prices at Walmart. The Pre-K list was so short and my boy loved picking out some great camo items for his friend. We haven't had the chance to connect with T and his mom yet, although I have let her know that we have some supplies for him. We found out at the last minute that he will not be attending the daycare any longer so it is just a matter of connecting with them. The Boy cannot wait to see if T loves his camo backpack!!
We found some great girly items for Vicki's daughter and it was just adorable to see my boy pick out "pretty flower" notebooks because "she will loooove them"!!
Check out our Elmer's 1st Day #BagItForward Champions for Kids shopping experience in the Google Album!!
Giving to a special teacher
We packed up the backpacks as we were checking out to save the environment from a couple of extra plastic bags and then it was time to take a bag to Vicki.
The Boy was just thrilled to give Vicki the flowery backpack full of school supplies and even more thrilled to sit in her lap and take a picture. I loved this photo so much that it was the first to be uploaded into my Elmer's 1st Day app. I am working on getting the others uploaded as well. I want to help Elmer's reach that 200,000 donations!!
You can keep up with the progress and read more stories of others giving to teachers and students by following Elmer's on Facebook and Twitter (@elmers). If you are as addicted to Pinterest as I am, come check out all of the awesome donations photos on the Bag It Forward Pinterest board!!