Free School Supplies for Military Families: Back-to-School Brigade
Operation Homefront is the organization behind the Back-to-School Brigade. If you are currently serving in the US Military or are a family member of a service personnel or a veteran you could qualify for their special programs, including the Back-to-School Brigade. The Brigade program specifically focuses on providing free school supplies to military family members in need for back to school.
Originally founding in 2002 it has provided 746,000 needs for military families since its inception. These needs are over a broad range for in-need families and include back to school supplies. The organization is headquartered in San Antonio Texas and has locations serving 43 states. The 7 states that don’t have a local presence are serviced by the head office in San Antonio.
Multiple programs offer support for veterans. The back to school collection campaign is supported by Dollar Tree stores that actively collect donations for back to school at its over 5000 locations across the country. In 2014 this collection effort amounted to over $5 million dollars worth of donations to in-need families.
Being a support of the Brigade helps the program continue its success in providing supplies for families in need. If you have been a previous recipient, your help can often make the difference in your area. It can include the simple act of getting a collection bin at a local office, school or religious center to help collection efforts. Donations from companies by direct supply donations or Amazon gift cards provide another giving opportunity. As a pickup volunteer you can help ensure the supplies arrive at the distribution depot on time for collection by families in need.
If you have a loved one deployed or returned home injured and need some back to school supplies for your children, contact your local center by finding the one closest to you here. Just click on the drop down box on the upper right hand corner. This will allow you to find a distribution center either in your state or most likely an adjacent state. If you cannot find one near you, contact the head office in San Antonio for directions. This can be done easily through their website and email.
A list of the Brigade’s Back-to-School Events is also listed on their events page found here. You can also follow Operation Homefront on Facebook for announcements on times, registrations and events in your area. If you are attending an event near you, remember that only children registered in grades kindergarten through grade 12 are eligible. These children must also be children of an enlisted soldier in ranks E1 through E6 and DEERS military dependent children. Veterans injured, ill or wounded after 9/11 in the line of duty also qualify. Documentation will be required of these statuses in order to receive the free school supplies.
Operation Homefront takes pride in being able to provide specialized programs for active combat duty soldiers and their families in the lower ranks that are lower income earners. This help is provided through a number of programs, of which the Back-to-School Brigade is only one.