We have always known the importance a program like this has in our community, but didn’t realize the impact of its reach until 1,500 students from Fort McMurray need our help to finish the school year. Tools for School brings together community agencies, educational institutions, corporate supporters, the general public and the media for the purpose of a common goal – to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 whose families have limited resources. In some areas of the Capital Region, the need for backpacks filled with school supplies is as high as 8 in 10 students. Read the summary report.



Make a Donation of Supplies

The annual Tools for School campaign which encourages the community to make contributions in support of the program runs from July through September. Click here for a complete school supply list.


Dollars donated to the Tools for School program are used to purchase program approved school supplies when the need is not met through product donations. Cheques should be made payable to ‘United Way of the Alberta Capital Region’ indicating Tools for School in the memo line. Monetary donation can be dropped off at or mailed to: United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, 15132 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, AB. T5P 3Y3.

During the campaign, monetary donations can also be made during a purchase at any Staples location in the Alberta Capital Region. 


We ask that parents living in the Alberta Capital Region who need to access the program contact the school their child will be attending and let them know their child requires a Tools for School backpack. In the event the school is not participating in the Tools for School program, please contact Jenn Dermott at United Way.

If you are a teacher, looking for backpacks for your students please email Jenn Dermott.


Tools for School works under the collaboration of a volunteer advisory committee which consists of at least one representative from each of the 13 participating school divisions. Planning and coordination for the Tools for School program is on-going year round. Over the past 20 years, the program has maintained distribution to four standardized grade categories (Kindergarten to Grade 2, Grade 3 to Grade 6, Junior High and Senior High) with a list of school supplies compatible with all 14 participating school divisions in the Alberta Capital Region. For the start of the 2015 school year, over 12,400 school kits were discreetly and respectfully distributed to students in need. The 2016 Tools for School Campaign runs from July to August 31st. For more information contact jdermott@myunitedway.ca