10.17.2023

Treehouse Distributes Over 27,000 Items During the Back-to-School Season

Each fall, we look forward to supporting youth in foster care as they head back to school and start a new school year.

The excitement during a back-to-school season is palpable. We can sense the excitement from our students as they pick out a new outfit for the first day or admire their brand-new school supplies, excited for a fresh start. We know that for students to thrive academically, they require not only positive relationships and stability but also continued access to materials, resources and opportunities, including clothing, books and extracurricular activities to enrich their overall educational journey.

During the 2023 back-to-school season of August and September, the Treehouse Store served 1,005 individual youth through in-person shopping and online orders — the highest since before the COVID-19 pandemic. We distributed over 27,000 items valued at more than $171,000, including 6,301 school supplies, 2,551 books and 583 backpacks.

In addition, more than $24,000 in financial assistance was provided to 159 youth to help cover school-related costs, including books, tutoring, school planners and photos, ASB cards and National Honor Society dues.

To help meet the needs of our participants outside of Puget Sound, we held two pop-up shops for the second and third years in a row in Vancouver and Spokane during the month of August. While online orders can always be placed, our pop-up shops enable Treehouse to bring the shopping experience to them, giving students a chance to personally select their own clothing and items.

161 Graduation Success participants attended the two events and left with a combined total of 3,000 items valued at almost $20,000, most of which were clothing items. Hundreds of laptops — funded by an AT&T donation to Human-I-T — were also distributed to Treehouse participants at the events to make sure they had the technological tools needed to do their schoolwork.

Some of the items collected by members of UA Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters during their back-to-school supply drive.
Some of the items collected by members of UA Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters during their back-to-school supply drive.

A successful 2023 back-to-school season that met the needs of the youth in our programs was possible thanks to Treehouse supporters. With your support, 27,000 items were brought in between July and September through donation drives, purchases from our wish list and general new/used donations. $39,000 was also raised through peer-to-peer fundraising pages, allowing Treehouse to fill gaps in and fulfill requests for financial assistance. And 3,350 new items came in through community donation drives alone, double what was donated in 2022.

McGraw-Hill is one of the 24 groups that volunteered in the Treehouse Store during the back-to-school season. 277 individuals also volunteered their time in the Store, at the pop-up shops or other events.

We are still collecting donations! Read about how you can support youth in foster care by visiting treehouseforkids.org/take-action/.

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