School Kits

RS2381_101206_LWR_kit-061-scrImagine having to choose between a meal or purchasing a notebook. Project Promise School Kits are sent to places where even the few required school supplies may be more than a family can afford. Pencils and paper can help write a positive future.

Share Your Good Work!

Be sure to upload a picture of your kits to Facebook or Twitter

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Include the following items in each School Kit:










Download Instructions

Some important guidelines to remember.

  • If you are looking to purchase backpacks, the preferred style is often used in the U.S. for youth to carry athletic equipment. Try your local sporting goods store or search online using the keywords, “buy drawstring backpacks.”
  • Before purchasing backpacks, make sure they meet the size requirements (14″ x 17″) and General Assembly Instructions. We also have a list of suppliers who have appropriate bags available for purchase in bulk, including Fair Trade options. (.pdf)
  • You can make your own backpacks with our School Kit Backpack Pattern (.pdf)
  • Please give new items only, except where otherwise noted.
  • Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your group’s name.
  • Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
  • Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed.
  • All items should be new and in good condition.
  • Do not enclose the Kit or any of its contents in plastic bags.

How to pack your Project Promise Kits

  • Download and print signs to help guide volunteers during your assembly.
  • Pack completed Kits, like items together, in boxes. Label contents in LARGE, BLOCK LETTERS on the outside of the boxes.
  • Use strong cartons secured with packing tape, not to exceed 40 pounds.
  • Do not use plastic or paper bags to pack donations.
  • Include the name and address of your group or congregation on each box and label the contents

Getting Kits to people in need.

You can either locate a local gathering site, or dropoff or send your prepaid boxes directly to one of these warehouses.

Find an Ingathering Near Me

Lutheran World Relief
601 Main Street
PO Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776
Lutheran World Relief
398 East Richmond Street
South St. Paul, MN 55075

The warehouses accept items year-round. Call ahead for driving directions and hours of operation if you are personally delivering your donations.


Now you can log onto our Quilt and Kit Tracker and print out your barcode to put on your shipment of Quilts and Kits.

Then, you and your congregation can track your gifts as they reach those in need all around the world.

Additional Instructions

15 thoughts on “School Kits

    1. Thanks for this good question, Karen!

      Yes, please remove packaging from erasers, scissors, rulers, etc. Many of the countries where we distribute have limited or no waste management systems, so throwing out or recycling that extra packaging really helps communities and schools stay clean.

      Melanie Gibbons
      Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager

      1. I called LWR and was told the scissors could remain in the package. Our 111 kits are already boxed up and sealed.

          1. 410-230-2800? I’m not sure because I just did a search online. I spoke to gentleman and he seems to answer whenever I have a question. We had a lot of questions about specific items in all of the different kits because we go by what is on your main website. For example, according to Joann fabrics, The common sizes of fabric are not the same as what show up on your website. Larger towels that are only $2.99 at Kohl’s are slightly too large for the personal care kits but are a great light weight towel. Many standard receiving blankets are 32″ x 32″, not 36 square so many that were donated at church were not usable. Many bars of soap have shrunken down to 3.1 ounces and there’s no mathematical way to use two or three bars of soap that will equal 8 to 9 ounces. The gentleman I spoke to was going to talk to someone about the website because perhaps the information needs to be updated.

          2. Thanks! I clarified the packaging point with our staff, so hopefully that will be clearer.

            We do our best to stay on top of all the details you mentioned, but sometimes what is available in one part of the country is not available in other parts, so it’s tricky to make it universal. That’s why we list a range when we can. We adapted our soap guidelines to 2-3 bars of bath-size soap totaling between 8-9 oz for this reason. Slightly more in this case is fine – better 9.3 oz than 6.2 oz. The goal is always for kits to be as similar as they can be. I’m grateful for your care and attention to the guidelines, and we’ll continue to do what we can to make everything as universal and clear as possible. When in doubt, definitely call to check, as you have been doing! I’m sorry we got our internal wires crossed on the packaging. We do state as clearly as we can online and in our publications that all extra packaging should be removed.

    1. Hi Cindy – good question. As long as they are the style indicated in the photo above (not a fancy eraser or one of the small ones that fit onto the end of a pencil), the erasers don’t need to be exactly 2 1/2″. The closer to that size you can find, the better, but if 2″ is what you can find, those are ok to include.

      Melanie Gibbons
      Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager

  1. I would like to get my church involved in making school kits for LWR. Once we have a 40 lb box ready to go …. where do I take it? Is there a local drop-off church in the Southern California area? Also, approximately how many school kits in drawstring backpacks are in a 40 lb box?

    1. Hi Joan! Thanks so much for getting this ministry going at your church! On the page above, click on the tab that says “Sending your kits” and then to the link to the Ingatherings map. There are pickups in S California each October, so you can plan your collections around those dates.

      Melanie Gibbons
      Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager

    1. Nylon is ok as long as they are sturdy/well-made. It’s worth checking carefully – often the seams are not well done and nylon bags will come apart easily. Thanks for checking!

      Melanie Gibbons
      Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager

  2. We are making the back packs for the school kits. The directions on the LWR website show the backpack sides being sewn together on the wrong side. There is a blog by the “ green eyed lady” that shows how to make the backpacks but she sews the sides together on the right side with 2 rows of sewing. Is there a correct way preferred?

  3. Are we allowed to put a seam in the bottom of the back pack if the end result is the right side? I would like to use fabric that I already have that is not long enough. I would reinforce the seams to make sure they are strong.

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