10 Tips for Hosting a
Successful Supply Drive

Summer break is just around the corner, and we’re already thinking about how to help students succeed during the 2022-2023 school year.

Thousands of Utah kids come from families who cannot purchase all the school supplies they need each year. That’s the motivation behind our annual Stuff the Bus event, which aims to gather, pack, and distribute school supplies for more than 13,000 students in grades K-12.

Want to help Utah kids succeed in school? Host a supply drive! Here are 10 steps for hosting a fun, successful supply drive at your office, church, home, or pretty much anywhere else. Not ready to host an in-person event? You can host a virtual drive and we’ll use the funds raised to purchase supplies!


1. Register Your School Supply Drive

Register both your virtual and in-person drives here!


2. Get Your Group Excited (and Share Why School Supplies Matter)

When kids return to school in August, no matter how excited they are to learn, they need some basic supplies to thrive. Imagine English without a pencil, history without a highlighter, or science without a notebook to track your hypotheses. Providing basic school supplies to students who may not otherwise be able to afford them sets the groundwork for success and puts education goals within reach.


Stuff the Bus Supply Drive

3. Set a Goal

People are more motivated to give when you set a goal that is challenging but attainable. You can set an overall goal for your entire drive or individual goals for different teams or specific members of your organization or family.


4. Send an Email Inviting Others to Participate

Here is a sample email


5. Post Flyers

School Supply Flyer

Overview Flyer


6. Identify and Decorate an Area to Collect Supplies and Donations

Whether you have a designated table in the office or a fully decorated drop-off bin, your group can make collecting school supplies fun and engaging for everyone. Check out Suba Bleu’s drop-off zone from a past year — can you top it?


Stuff The Bus Supply Drive Dog


7. Host a Virtual Supply Drive and We’ll Do the Shopping

Maybe you don’t have space in your office to store supplies or don’t have time to go to school supply shopping. Don’t worry! You can host an online donation drive and have just as much impact. Send out this link and ask people to donate online with the click of a button!

Set a donation goal with your group and earn a certificate from United Way of Salt Lake.

Change a Life:
Supply 10 children with a backpack and supplies $250

Change a Class:
Supply a community center with backpacks and supplies for 30 children $750

Change a School:
Supply 100 children with a backpack and supplies $2500


8. Incentivize

Motivate people with some friendly competition. Whether it’s in the workplace and the prize is a little extra PTO, or at home and the winner gets to pick what’s for dinner, motivating people to participate can be a fun and effective way to bring in the school supplies.


9. Drop off Supplies August 2nd or 3rd

So, you’ve collected TONS of school supplies, (or maybe just a few)! We appreciate every single item. Now it’s time to drop them off at the Columbus Community Center on August 1st or 2nd between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Be sure to enter the exact address, 2531 South 400 East, Room #106 South Salt Lake 84115, into your GPS.


Supply Drive


10. Help Count and Sort Your Donations

This year, Stuff the Bus will run the week of August 1st- August 5th at the amazing Columbus Community Center. Supply drive drop-offs will be August 1st and 2nd with counting and sorting volunteer shifts on August 2nd and 3rd. The backpack stuffing event will take place on August 4th. Volunteer sign-ups will go live on July 1st so be sure to check back soon!


counting and sorting


We hope you join us in helping Utah kids succeed in school!

Learn more about our 2022 Stuff the Bus Event at uw.org/stuff-the-bus.


More questions? Reach out to our team! Email bri.butterfield@uw.org.



By Zeynep Kariparduc, Volunteer Programs Coordinator with United Way of Salt Lake