By now the kids in your life are probably safely returned to school. That can mean only one thing: an ongoing stream of back-to-school shopping, starting a few weeks ago and continuing as they, or you, or both, realize the thing(s) you forgot to buy. But between the sessions of trying on jeans and cardigans and poring over piles of binders and backpacks to find the exact right ones, there’s also a great opportunity to teach your children how to use their money to both get what they need and help the world around them.
That’s because so many retailers and good causes this year are teaming up to donate to charities and nonprofits every time you purchase one of their school supplies — many of which are extraordinarily stylish and adorable.
• So let’s start with the basics. And that means cool pens, in cool ink colors too, right? During back-to-school season, for every FriXion Clicker Erasable gel ink pen purchased in the U.S., Pilot Pen will make a donation to Stomp Out Bullying — the country’s leading bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization. Bullying is still a huge issue for schools, communities, parents, and (of course) kids, which is why Pilot has pledged a minimum donation of $125,000 to the cause. So the more FriXion erasable pens (the campaign tag is “Erase bullying for good,” get it?) that we parents buy, the more school programs and online communities to support families and educators will be funded.
• On to that classic staple, the backpack, our hat’s off to socozy.com/givebackpack. Not only are their compact, colorful and water-resistant packs ultra-cute, they’re currently running a campaign to give the same backpack to a kid in need every time you buy one. Not only that, but they hand-deliver it to them, filled with school supplies so they can start the year ready to succeed.
• Another terrific deal comes from yoobi.com, where the motto is “one for you, one for me.” The entire site is full of playful and whimsical school needs such as funky striped composition notebooks, cool extra-bright highlighters, fuchsia-handled scissors, polka-dot pencil cases and fuzzy coin purses. Every time you buy one, the company donates an item to a classroom in need in the United States.
• PBS and Whole Foods have just teamed up with a line of sustainably sourced and made school supplies to benefit Whole Kids Foundation, which is dedicated to helping kids eat better. All proceeds on the joint site go to the cause — you’ll find super cute necessities such as doggie toddler backpacks, robot sandwich cases and butterfly notebooks.
It’s the ultimate multitask — a welcome back by giving back!