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Tools for School Backpack Program

The Tools for School Backpack program helps students start the school year off ready to learn. Teachers report that when students do not have the supplies they need, they are less likely to participate in class or complete assignments and are more likely to be absent from school. This puts the most vulnerable students at a disadvantage compared to their peers.

Over the last twenty years, 3Rs has worked with volunteers to fill and distribute nearly 63,000 backpacks in Maine. These backpacks are given to low-income students at no cost to the students or their families. 3Rs works with schools and social workers to identify and reach students who need backpacks. The scope and longevity of our program has resulted in many case workers and schools relying on 3Rs to send their students back to school ready to learn. 

If you are a social worker/case manager or principal of a member school who would like more information about getting backpacks for your clients or students, please send an email to:


We take requests from June 1st - July 26th, 2024. Requests received after that date will be placed on a waitlist and filled on a first come, first served basis if there are any extra backpacks available. 

We do not accept requests directly from parents/guardians. Please contact your child's social worker/case manager or school and ask them to contact us. 

How Can I Help?

Host a supply drive to collect the items listed below. Items that are solid, gender neutral colors with no characters on them are preferred since we do not know who will get each backpack. 


​Order supplies from our Amazon Wish List and have them delivered directly to 3Rs warehouse.


Financial contributions allow us to purchase school supplies in bulk. (Purchasing in bulk is usually cheaper than buying retail and allows us to ensure that every student who receives a backpack gets the same kind and quality of supplies as everyone else.)


Volunteer groups are welcome to help unpack and sort supplies, pull stock from the warehouse in preparation for filling the backpacks, and to fill backpacks.  If your business or other group would like information about volunteering, please call 207-699-5565 or email Lisa at  


Supplies Needed to Fill Backpacks

1" 3-Ring Binders

12 ct Colored Pencils

24 ct Crayons

Glue Sticks

10-12 ct Markers (broad & thin style)

One Subject Notebooks & Composition Books

Pens (Black, Blue, Red)


Pencil Sharpeners

Pencil Cap Erasers

Pink Erasers

Pocket Folders

12" Rulers

Recraft Center SUMMER Hours:

Tue. - Thu. 12:00-5:00

Sat. 9:00 - 2:00

Teacher Store:

CLOSED for the summer.

Warehouse Hours:

Tuesdays: 9:30-2:00

Weds and Thurs: 9:30 -12:30

Fridays 9:30-2:00


Next Donation Date:

Friday, July 26th from 9:30-2:30

Weather related closings will be posted on:

Facebook; WCSH channel 6; WGME channel 13

Our outgoing phone message 

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