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A Perfect Back-to-School Volunteer Project for Kids

It’s very important to me that our kids are introduced to volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s a random act of kindness (such as helping someone take back their grocery cart) or a long-term commitment with a local charity, volunteer work teaches them so much!

But I do admit there are challenges when you want to volunteer as a family.  Some organizations don’t allow children to participate in projecs due to a variety of reasons.  And then there’s the schedule – trying to find a time when everyone in the family can participate in the same volunteer project.

With the school year beginning, we like to look for projects that we can do from home and especially things that the kids can take on as “a project of their own”.  

One of the best ways we’ve found for kids to make a postive impact is the Box Tops for Education™ program!  It’s the perfect opportunity for kids in elementary and middle school to take the lead on a project that will help others and it’s something any family can easily do at home.


A Back-to-School Volunteer Project

Box Tops for Education™ is a way that schools can earn sports items, classroom supplies, books and more! The program has contributed more than $525 million to participating schools since 1996.

It’s really so simple —

• Families shop as they normally would purchasing some of their favorite items with the Box Tops for Education™ points on the packaging.   

• Kids can then put their cutting skills to use by clipping off the Box Tops.

• Collect the Box Tops and send them to school with your child where they can turn them in to their classroom teacher to at the office. 

So easy even a Kindergartner can do it 🙂


Each Box Top is worth .10 cents for your school.

So we did a little math (because I love to sneak in any learning opportunity) — if there are 500 kids at the school and each one turns in 10 Box Tops this year, how much money will the students raise for their school?

(it’s like a word problem in math class 😉

500 students x 10 Box Tops = 5,000 Box Tops x .10 = $500!!

Wow!  Not bad for a program that the kids can do on their own.


Best of all, this is a project the kids can take charge of from beginning to end!

The first step is to find those Box Tops!  The Box Tops for Education™ points can be found on a huge variety of General Mills® products. 

On our weekly trip to Sam’s Club, my daughter kept her eyes peeled for Box Top items that were on our list.


Where to find Box Tops for your School

First stop — cereal aisle!  We always stock up before school starts (and we also love to have cereal for an afterschool snack too).

Hmmm… I think someone should tell the Cheerios folks that Honey Nut is beating out original this season 😉  Good thing there are still some Honey Nut Cheerios on the shelf since they’re our favorite! 

Can you see that nice large “8 Box Tops” banner on the box?  That’s what we’re looking for on our hunt.  Sam’s Club is AWESOME for having these high value Box Top products at back to school time!


great school fundraiser kids can help to do

Next stop — granola bar aisle!  Another staple in our house for back to school.  They are especially popular at group meetings or when there’s a class request for a snack to be sent in — so we buy large boxes at the beginning of the year which are a great value! 

The first thing my daughter said when she saw the box was “Whoa Mom! 8 Boxtops!”

Yep, she knows a good deal when she sees one – I’ve raised her well 😉

One box for the kids, one box of Dad’s favorite (peanut with more peanut) — we should be good for a few weeks 😉  Plus, I won’t have to run back to the store when the request comes home from the teacher that first week of classes.


Getting the kids to lead a school fundraiser

Be sure to ask the kids unload the car (I’m serious when I say the kids can take charge of this project from beginning to end) and bring the items in the house.


easy school volunteer project for kids to do on their own

Now for the snacking — I mean clipping of the Box Tops, which obviously requires you to immediately open one of the granola bars.  Just have the kids locate the Box Top and carefully cut it off the package. 


school fundraising project kids can do

We keep a container on the counter and collect the Box Tops for a few weeks before sending them into school. 

Our family has been turning in Box Tops to our kids’ schools for more than 15 years.

Sometimes it’s part of a larger effort – we’ll ask neighbors to help us collect or their classroom will have a contest to see who can bring in the most Box Tops.

And the kids are always great about reminding me –

Mom, our class only needs 50 more Box Tops and then we can order the new playground balls!”  or

We’re donating our Box Tops to another school who’s trying to buy books for their new library!”

I love that they are learning how a school fundraiser works and that they can be a BIG part in helping the school to earn some much needed items for the classroom & playground.


We also have another great tip on how to earn EXTRA Box Top points for your school that we’ll share with you next week!




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What types of volunteer projects do your kids enjoy?



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills® . The opinions and text are all mine.