Good Learning: How Good360 Supports Children Through Back-to-School Donations

Orange County, Calif., is one of the wealthiest enclaves in America.

At $78,428, the county’s median income in 2015 was nearly $23,000 higher than the national median. It’s a thriving hub for companies in high-tech, construction, and health care.

Yet, even here among neatly manicured gated communities, poverty exists. Last year, 28,450 pre-K through 12th grade students were identified as homeless or living in unstable housing arrangements in the county, according to the 2017 Orange County Community Indicators Report.

Across the United States, about 15 million children — a disheartening 21% of all American children — live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty.

As millions of children head back to school all across the country this fall, these statistics are a sobering reminder that many of them need a lot more than just notebooks, backpacks, and pencil cases to succeed in the classroom. Some children won’t be assured of a nutritious meal at home, or be able to afford new clothes for the school year, or even be able to lay down in a warm bed at night.

At Good360, we believe all kids should have access to learning tools. Each year, we provide hundreds of thousands of back-to-school product donations to nonprofits and schools throughout the country.

This year alone, we have already moved more than 307,000 school supplies to 434 nonprofit organizations in our network. These items include everything from binders and notebooks to pencils and backpacks.

We also view “back-to-school” needs in a more holistic sense. We believe in a “whole child” approach that takes into account the child’s educational, as well as health, nutritional, and social needs.

To that end, we partner with other nonprofits that share the same philosophy. Among them is Giving Children Hope, a Good360 partner that equips frontline partners with resources to serve vulnerable children and families.

The organization runs a weekend nutrition program called We’ve Got Your Back to feed homeless children in Orange County. Each child receives a backpack stuffed with enough food to feed a family of four throughout the weekend.

In its ninth year, the program was developed because teachers were noticing that some of their students were coming back on Mondays “hungry and distracted.”

“The students couldn’t concentrate because they didn’t have enough to eat during the weekend,” says Sean Lawrence, executive director of Giving Children Hope. “You can’t learn if you’re hungry.”

According to Lawrence, demand for the organization’s assistance has never been higher or more urgent. The We’ve Got Your Back program has seen a 12 percent increase in school participation this past year. This summer, Giving Children Hope saw a 50 percent increase in the number of families coming for help.

Our support of Giving Children Hope is just one of the ways that we’ve been able to support the health and happiness of children all around the world. Most recently, we partnered with More Than Me to help rebuild Liberia’s devastated educational system by providing school supplies. With a special focus on educating girls, More Than Me also takes a “whole child” approach, providing girls with healthcare, nutrition and social services, as well as fully-equipped classrooms and trained teachers.

“Children need to be healthy and safe so they can focus on learning,” says Good360 Howard Sherman. “With the generous help of our corporate and nonprofit partners, we’ve been able to provide supplies that not only get children back to school, but return to school in the healthiest way possible so they can achieve their best potential.”

Are you a nonprofit organization looking for back-to-school items for the children in your community? Be sure to check out Good360’s extensive catalog of donated products and highly discounted deals sourced from our corporate partners.

If your nonprofit isn’t registered with us, please go here.

Originally published at good360.org on August 29, 2017.

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