The Fort Wayne Salvation Army's Tools for School program will address that need next week.
The Tools for School program gives backpacks full off essentials to kids from elementary through high school.
Program officials say this year has been tough-- with donations down, and need on the rise.
It's time for pencils, time for notebooks.
In the next two weeks, kids across the region return to schools.
But not all those kids will have school supplies.
The Salvation Army, through its tools for school program, is here to help.
"It's geared towards the people in our community that maybe can't afford to buy their children school supplies to start out the year... Even the basics like pencils and pens," says Fort Wayne Salvation Army Major Lynetta Poff.
The program is supported by local sponsors and collects donated school supplies in these big red barrels across town.
Volunteers will pack those supplies into backpacks and hand them out next week.
To qualify, a family must meet income limits.
"It is based, we take a look at their income versus their expenses and try to get a rough idea at what the need is," Poff says.
Last year, the Salvation Army, through donated cash and supplies, provided 35,000 supplies to 1430 Fort Wayne students.
This year, organizer Poff says donations are way down.
Workers collected the donation barrels from local businesses this afternoon-- And Poff says they were a lot emptier than in prior years.
"But we did not get as many donations in this year, either what we call 'gift in kind,' which are the actual notebooks, the pencils, the pens... Or monetary donations in to kind of fill in the gaps for the things that weren't donated," Poff says.
Poff says on Tuesday, the first backpacks will go out to students.
"There is still time to donate. Even though our barrels have been picked up from the Walgreens and various other locations, there is time to donate," Poff says.
She says people can still donate cash and supplies until Monday afternoon.
If you want to get some of those backpacks for your kids, Poff says they are giving those out Tuesday through Thursday next week.
But you have to be there early.
It starts at nine, but she recommends being there several hours earlier to line up, since the donations could go fast.
Proof of all income and all expenses
Social security cards for all children
Birth certificates for all children