10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com


The other day I was having a chat with the Deacon at the church where I work. We were talking about the extensive fundraising the students do to help pay for a national leadership trip that takes place every other year. He gave an example of a recent fundraiser where the families created various themed gift baskets then used them as a prize in order to raise money. Yes, they raised some money but it was basically equivalent to the money the parents had to spend to create the basket in the first place. It got me thinking about the barrage of fundraising activities that my girls have participated in over the past 9 years.

It’s painful to think about it. Fundraising, that is. 

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

In almost every situation, it feels like parents are funding the fundraiser by purchasing things they don’t really need and/or may not even want! Seriously, how many magazine subscriptions and overpriced wrapping paper does someone need? But I say almost every situation because there is one where there isn’t any additional outlay at all: Box Tops for Education.

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

The only thing a parent has to do is purchase products (from brands like Reynolds Kitchen and Hefty) they already purchase then clip the “Box Top” from the package and send it to school.

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

Let that sink in for a minute. Things you already purchase. When you have people over for a birthday or just to hang out, what do you use? Hefty disposable plates and glasses, right? Or when you’re headed to a potluck, you grab a Reynolds Kitchen disposable baking dish so you don’t have to worry about hunting yours down after the event. These are among the long list of products available that participate in the Box Tops For Education program. It’s one of a handful of ways you can support your school system without outlaying any extra money. Here are some other ideas:

10 Ways To Support Schools Without Spending Money

Run for a seat on the school board. There is no better way to influence the future of the school than to be part of the decision making process!

Write letters to legislature regarding issues of concern. School districts have a number of matters that are impacted by legislative decision and it isn’t always monetary. As an example, here in Iowa there has been an ongoing discussion and battle regarding when school should start. If it starts too early, it overlaps 4-H activities (we’re in Iowa, so that’s a big deal) as well as summer state sports tournaments and championships. If it is delayed too much, high school upperclassmen are battling scheduling issues by the extension at the end of the year. Being proactive can help find resolutions that work.

Donate your time in the classroom. Teachers in younger classes often need day to day assistance with coordinating small group activities. Room moms are needed at all grades. Even offering to staple packets, cut or laminate items for upcoming projects is welcome assistance.

Accept an unpaid job. Some positions such as lunchroom worker are regular unpaid positions in many schools. In some cases, those volunteer positions can transition into paid jobs! It starts as a way to stay connected with your child and turns into getting paid to be there. On leave from a medical profession to raise your kids? The school nurse would probably welcome skilled professionals to help as well. (Because kids love getting flu shots at school and are soooo cooperative!)

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

Head a committee. Be part of the PTA. Who do you think plans the festivals, fundraisers, teacher appreciation days and all that? They need people who are good at planning and coordinating to run those programs.

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

Volunteer at events. All those festivals, fundraisers, teacher appreciation days, holiday parties and school field trips need people to make them actually happen. You don’t need to commit a bunch of time to planning meetings, only the time slot they need filled at the event. Many hands make light work.

Donate used items. Teachers are happy to accept books, games and school supplies that your kids have outgrown or don’t use. Classroom pets need supplies. Nurses often like to have an extra stash of clothes on hand in case of accidents. Ask your school what they have a need for and fill in the gaps with things you might otherwise toss or donate to a thrift store.

Request donations. Teachers always need trinkets for positive behavior reinforcement while the committees often need prizes for raffles and whatnot. If you have connections with a company that can provide something, then ask. It’s amazing what you can get when you ask.

Join affinity programs. Supermarkets and retailers often offer escrip and cashback programs. All you usually have to do is go into your online profile for the program and designate who you want to receive a percentage of your purchase.

Collect and return Box Tops For Education! It doesn’t cost anything but a little time to clip the squares off the products and return them to the school. If you don’t have kids or you do but they are older, then certainly you have neighbor kids who would welcome the extra Box Tops for their classroom. There isn’t any reason NOT to participate!

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

To make it even better, Box Tops For Education often runs promotions to benefit the schools (and participants) even more.

10 suggestions (such as Box Tops for Education) for how you can help schools without spending extra money. - SahmReviews.com

Reynolds Kitchens™ and Hefty proudly support the Box Tops for Education initiative which helps schools raise money for supplies, technology and more. Find Box Tops on most Reynolds Kitchens™ products like Parchment Paper, Oven Bags, Slow Cooker Liners and Bakeware Pans. You can also find Box Tops on Hefty Trash Bags, Hefty Foam Plates and Hefty Cups!

If you prefer to write a check and support your school in that manner, then great. But if you don’t or cannot, we hope you’ll consider one of these 10 ways to support your school.

What ways do you like to assist your school? 

27 thoughts on “10 Non-Cash Ways to Support Your School

  1. As someone who doesn’t have children, but would love to support our local school I have wondered about ways I could help out. I just registered for the Box Tops program, and I love the idea of asking for (and giving) donations. I don’t know why I never thought about doing that!

  2. I know a lot of teachers and would love to support them and our local schools. I would probably volunteer my time to help them in any way I can.

  3. When my son was in school, I used to chaperone field trips. It was always fun getting to explore new things with him and his friends.

    1. I loved volunteering to chaperone, but there came a time my oldest daughter preferred I not be there. It made me sad, but also made me realize she was maturing enough to not “need” me. I know a lot of kids who don’t get to that point. I miss those days though!

  4. I always did a lot of volunteering when my kids were in school and saved up the box tops for them. It was nice to be able to help and “spy” on my kids at the same time. Lol It felt good being a part of it all. I miss those days! Great tips! I hope other parents get more involved after reading your article.

  5. When my kids were in school, I was a member of the PTA. I collected the Box Tops for Education. I helped with after school projects when I could. I donated new games, gently used clothes, school supplies, and more! I still collect the Box Tops for Education. My granddaughter won a party for her class, because I helped her collect the most box tops! They never used to expire, but now they do! Great article! Teachers need more help from the parents and kids feel proud when they see their parent help out!

  6. We do the BoxTops thing and turn in old printer cartridges. It’s a couple little programs that help the school. Also participate in fund raisers a lot.

  7. I don’t help out the schools as much as I used to. I scan box top for education to the school in our district. We have given books to this school. Now and then, we take turns going with our grandkids to their school’s book fair. We have 15 grandkids that we have to share time to. We can’t do that much anymore because of the pandemic and the kids are taking online classes now. I also commented above last September.

  8. These are great ideas on how to support your school, besides money. I have homeschooled my kids their whole lives so we have never had a school to support. We used to live next to an Elementary school though and I would always collect Box Tops for them. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. I do the Box Tops for Education. The school also collects used batteries.. At holiday classroom parties, I help with serving and clean-up.

  10. For years I collect and save Box Tops on groceries I buy at the store and donate them to my local schools. (Box Tops for Education program)

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