Philanthropic Friday: Supporting Schools

Philanthropic Friday: Supporting Schools

Almost every time we go to visit my mom, she hands one of the kids a Ziploc filled with pop tabs and scraps of paper. No, it isn’t some kind of funky craft project, it’s her way of supporting the schools. Without kids in school, I think it’s pretty awesome that she’s found a way to continue to make a difference without even impacting her budget. Today, I’m hoping that she can be an example for other people on how they can show their support. (Thanks, mom!)

There are a number of redemption programs that offer incentives to schools simply by meeting certain criteria. Here are a handful of the programs common to most districts. The best part is that they don’t require any commitment other than sending the label, tab or UPC to the school instead of to the garbage or recycling can.

You don't have to have kids in school to clip Box Tops 4 Education and support the schools. -

Box Tops For Education

Way back when I was a kid, we actually removed an entire box top from our box of cereal and turned it in at our school. While I don’t know exactly when the program started, I personally recall this box top ritual when I was in 3rd grade. Back then, you accumulated the top to cereal boxes then the school turned them in to purchase gym equipment. Boy has the Box Tops For Education program come a long way since then. No longer do you need an entire package, but merely a small square that you clip and send to the school. Most are worth 10¢ each and that adds up pretty quickly when you have an entire school collecting. They also offer bonuses for online shopping, special promotions throughout the year and cover a variety of products for a number of participating brands.

Campbell's Labels for Education is another way to support the schools. -

Labels for Education

It’s a bit of a misnomer because most people call it “Campbell’s Labels for Education” and it really isn’t. There are more than Campbell’s products participating. Bic, Swanson, V-8, Pepperidge Farms are among the growing list of places where you can find these labels that translate to cash. The point value on the label varies based on the size and cost of the product. As with the Box Tops For Education program, there are a variety of ways to earn points to support the schools including clipping UPCs, eLabels and bonus programs. One of my favorite bonuses was simply using their pre-printed collection form to affix my UPCs.

Tyson Project A+

Just like with Labels for Education and Box Tops, simply clip and save the Project A+ labels then your school can redeem them. There are a number of participating Tyson products that participate in this program so if you’re already buying the products, why not help out the school in the process?

Milk Caps for Cash

Do you drink milk? If you do then you could be supporting your local schools with the cap! This is one of those programs that is more of a regional or local thing than national. As a result, it isn’t as widely publicized. The next time you purchase a jug of milk, check the cap and see if there is any reference to a Milk Moola, Caps4Cash, Caps for Your Cause or some other milk cap program.


It may be a simple pop tab to you but it can make a difference to a charity somewhere. -

Pop Tabs

Have you ever sat and fiddled with your can of pop until the tab came off? Did you know that some schools and charities collect those otherwise meaningless pieces of metal as a fundraiser? That’s right. That little piece of metal plus another plus another can add up to some big cash. Once upon a time, there were rumors that such tabs could be cashed in for minutes on a dialysis machine, but that’s not really the case. Our school has an empty water cooler container that kids dump pop tabs into all year long on behalf of other charities such as Ronald McDonald House. It isn’t that the tabs have some magical conversion value, it’s simply a matter of quantity. The metal is recycled and scrap value. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s another way for the kids to learn about charitable giving.


Many grocery stores offer eScrip donations where a portion of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice. Our local grocery store provides a card that I have scanned each time I visit. It doesn’t cost me anything except a few seconds in the checkout line while I wait for the cashier to scan it. Even Target offers a program to support the schools. Who gets the benefit? The school or charity of my choice.

The biggest point I want to make is that these programs are free to both the consumer and the school. The only commitment from the consumer is gather the labels and caps or using the cards while the school is in charge of handling the redemption process. Whether you have children or not, these school redemption programs are a great way to give back to the community.

Do you send labels and UPCs to the school for redemption?

Nicole Brady

About Nicole Brady

Founder and owner of, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has partnered with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole has worked closely with brands such as Netflix, Nintendo, Domino's and Disney, has been featured in McDonald's videos as well as Maria Bailey's book "Power Moms". Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two amazing daughters, if you can't find Nicole, she is probably somewhere being an advocate for playing board games.

25 comments on «Philanthropic Friday: Supporting Schools»

  1. These are fantastic! Box Tops has been around for ages – glad to see others coming along with them!

  2. Liz Mays says:

    I forgot about the pop top lids. Our school used to collect those. Also, the milk caps is totally new to me. I’m going to start doing that one too.

  3. I love the Box Tops program because it helps schools get valuable resources. Our school definitely participates in it.

  4. Eden Hansen says:

    I think this is a great idea. I am always saving box tops for education for my kids’ schools.

  5. Michele says:

    I have no idea whether the schools near me participate in these programs but I am going to find out! I would love to be able to help the schools even though I have no children attending!

  6. Nuno Santos says:

    Cool. We collect caps, usually they gey 1c for each to help some institution/school.

  7. Jenna Wood says:

    Our local schools do a form of all four of these to one degree or another. It’s recycling on a larger scale to donate (similar to the tabs,) and collection of both Box-Tops and Labels, and it really helps the entire community. I’m grateful that the kids in our area are being taught about charity in so many forms!

  8. Saving all your cereal boxtops is the easiest way to help raise money for your school. Who with kids doesn’t go through multiple boxes PER WEEK that you could donate?

  9. Jane says:

    This is a great resource for those who would like to contribute to their local community/school. I used to clip the box tops and soup labels when my children were in elementary school. You’ve inspired me to do this for our local school, despite the fact I no longer have school age children. Thank you!

  10. Sarah says:

    I knew about the Box Tops program but I didn’t know about the others. I’m definitely going to start being more aware since it’s such an easy way to support schools.

  11. Sunny says:

    We do these too. Such a great way to help our schools out while doing our normal shopping!!!

  12. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    We send Box Tops into our school, but that is the only thing our school collects. My dad collects the soda can pop tabs for some charity, though, so I save them for him.

  13. Scarlet says:

    I was only using 1 of these methods! Thanks for letting me know or reminding me about the rest of them (as the case may be).

  14. Nolie says:

    I wish we had a program like this in Canada.

  15. Yes I collect Box Tops for my youngest son’s school. I have never heard of the milk caps before.

  16. I have never head of the milk caps before!! What a neat program, we do the school ones the kids are always collecting Box Tops and Campbell’s labels.

  17. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Our kids go to a private school so they are always strapped for cash! We do all these programs and then some!

  18. Stephanie says:

    Glad to see that these are all still being used in the schools. They are great programs. I remember helping my mom collect and clip all of the Cambells Soup Labels!

  19. Ok, I feel so out of the loop now- how did I not know about any of this? Clearly, I need to be doing more- thanks for sharing!

  20. Krystal says:

    I need to remember to save my soda tabs. That is a smart idea!

  21. Rhonda Martin says:

    Every little bit helps and this is a great way to help local schools. I actually have a few box tops ready to go to our local school. We don’t use the pop tabs often. We usually by the big bottles of soda instead of individuals but that’s a great idea too.

  22. I hadn’t heard of escrips or Milk Caps for Cash before. It is great that there are so many of these programs to help support our schools.

  23. Sandra Watts says:

    I do try to do this when I think about it. I should try to be better at it. I am just so disorganized.

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