girl with backpack

A Meaningful Way to Support Foster Kids: School Supply Drive

We may be in the midst of summer vacation, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the new school year just around the corner. Some children are excited as the first day of school approaches for another year of learning and spending time with friends, while others are intimidated by the unknowns and nervous for what the year ahead may bring.

This uncertainty can be even more daunting for children in foster care. Close to half of the children who were in foster care in 2015, lived in one home for less than one year, according to Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Whether they are starting at a new school for the first time or worried about fitting in with their current peers, the first day of school can drain spirits before the students even walk through the front doors.

These difficulties can result in foster children becoming behind in school and less likely to graduate high school.

You Can Make a Difference

With the odds seemingly going against them, the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program wants to set foster kids up for success by providing them with the items they need to kick off the school year.

Now through August 27, all Mattress Firm locations nationwide are collecting new school supplies for foster children. For most students, going shopping for new school supplies is a yearly ritual and something to look forward to with their family. Foster parents may not always be able to provide this experience for the children in their care.

Although, these families receive a small stipend to cover basic needs, it is often not enough to cover all necessities. By collecting backpacks, binders, pens, pencils and more, Mattress Firm hopes to provide these children with exactly what they need to take on the 2017 school year with confidence.

A Lasting Impact

In 2016, Mattress Firm collected an incredible 257,000 school supplies for foster kids nationwide. With your help, this year we can do even more for these young scholars.

Something as simple as donating a new backpack can help a child express their personality and start a new school year with confidence – confidence that can lead to better school performance and relationships with their peers.

School Supply Wish Lists

We’ve made back to school shopping easy—download one of our grade-specific school supply checklists and take it shopping with you. Then drop your tax-deductible gift to a Mattress Firm location!

Or, check out our general school supply list below.

school supply checklist


To learn more about how you can join Mattress Firm in making a difference in the lives of foster children in your community, please visit Mattress Firm Foster Kids.

About The Author

Mauri Knowles As director of community relations for Mattress Firm, Mauri Knowles channels her passion for helping others by connecting Mattress Firm employees with opportunities to make an impact on their communities and partnering with local non-profit organizations. Mauri joined the Mattress Firm family of brands in 2004, and since then she has helped us donate more than 2 million essential items and $5 million to foster children in need. She also serves as vice president of the Ticket to Dream Foundation, which supports the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program and raises funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer. Mauri says that one of her proudest moments of her career was helping launch the foundation in 2008. A California native and proud alumna of California State University, Sacramento, Mauri loves staycations with her family to the beach and nearby lakes. And, whether for work or for pleasure, she throws a good party; from themed dinner parties for family and friends to our annual golf tournament and fundraiser – if Mauri is in charge you know you’ll have a good time. Best Night’s Sleep: Mauri sleeps happy at home on her Beautyrest mattress on a moveable base after a day spent helping others; and she typically wakes up the next morning having spent the night dreaming it’s possible to do even more.

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