Seeking school supplies: Annual faculty, staff drive for Alamance students now underway

The annual effort kicked off in 2011 thanks in part to the work of an Elon alum serving with the armed forces in Afghanistan.

Elon University will again sponsor its annual school supplies drive. For the past 9 years,  the Elon faculty and staff have donated thousands of needed school supply items to children of Alamance County.

This initiative began in 2011 when James Black, a 2009 alumnus serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan, helped young children gain access to basic educational materials. As supplies were collected during that initial drive, the university community also recognized the part it could play to help to alleviate the need in Alamance County, with that original drive benefitted both students abroad and here at home.

Once again, the university is asking the faculty and staff community to come together to donate needed supplies for students in the Alamance Burlington School System (ABSS).

The need in Alamance County is profound. At the end of the 2019-20 school year, nearly 60 percent of the students in the county’s 36 schools met the eligibility requirements for free and reduced meals and in 11 schools, 100 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches. The ABSS Student Support Services team identified more than 600 students in 2019-20 for McKinney-Vento services for students considered as lacking a permanent nighttime residence and experiencing homelessness. The needs will increase given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although “back to school” will look a little different this year, the university is issuing a special request to its faculty and staff to donate new backpacks, book bags, school supplies and personal care items. Partners at ABSS have also indicated that these students need personal hygiene supplies as well, and those items have also been included on the needed supplies list. Everyone is invited to participate in this drive to help make a  difference in the life of a child in Alamance County.

You may participate in several ways:

  • Purchase and drop off school supplies on campus in one of our many drop-off locations (Aug. 11 through noon on Aug. 18)
  • Purchase school supplies on-line and have them shipped to the Office of the Dean Of Students, 2045 Campus Box, 100 Campus Drive, Elon NC 27244 (they must be delivered by August 22)
  • Participate in the Alamance Chamber of Commerce’s Classroom Collection Campaign by making a cash donation at

The school supplies drive traditionally “kicks off” during the opening reception and President’s Address. Since this event will be held virtually on Wednesday, Aug. 12,  supplies will be collected at campus drop off locations only for this year. Collection boxes will also be placed at several locations around campus until noon on Aug. 18. The number of drop off locations has been expanded for your convenience. After Aug. 18, members of the Student Government Association will sort and pack the supplies.

Law School faculty and staff members who wish to participate may drop off items in the Student Services Suite and we will pick up on August 18.

While all school supplies are welcomed and appreciated, the following have been identified by the ABSS  staff as most critical need:

  • Book Bags (best if can span ages and levels)
  • 3-Ring Binders (1.5 in., 2 in., 2.5 in, and 3 in.)
  • Notebook Paper (wide-ruled and college-ruled)
  • Composition Notebook
  • Pocket Folders (with prongs or without)
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Flash drives (4 gb +)

Personal hygiene items needed:

  • shampoo
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • combs
  • brushes
  • body wash
  • deodorant
  • feminine hygiene products
  • hand sanitizer
  • gas cards
  • food cards
  • Ziploc bags
  • tissues

Drop off box  locations:

  • Janice Ratliff Building
  • Moseley Campus Center Information Desk
  • Koury Center Concourse  (near Young Commons entrance)
  • Koury Field House (Athletics) – at reception desk
  • Ellington Center  (Faculty/Staff Health and Wellness)
  • The Francis Center Main Lobby
  • Alamance Rotunda (near room 109)
  • Lindner Hall (Outside Deans Suite, Room 104)
  • Campus Shop ( Elon Town Center)
  • Campus Safety and Police (Oaks)
  • Koury Business Center Lobby
  • Law School Deans Suite (Room 110-D)
  •  Powell Building (at Front Entrance)
  •  Belk Library- Front Entrance
  •  Technology Services Building  –
  •  Snow Family Grand Atrium (School of Communications)
  •  Business Services Building (Front Entrance)
  •  Physical Plant Building- Front Office
  •  Mooney Building-  student lounge area

A special thanks to Tammy Hill, administrative assistant to the Office of the Dean of Students for her continued work and support of this initiative, and to Brian Dudiak in Elon Athletics and our SGA student leaders for assisting us with on-campus logistics. Thanks also goes to CC Cowan and the Moving and Set-up Crew for  transporting the supplies to ABSS during a very busy time.