Backpack Coalition
Skip to Content
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

two girls with backpacks in front of a school bus

Backpack Coalition

Main Content

Backpack Coalition is committed to providing backpacks and school supplies to students with financial constraints to they have the tools they need to succeed in school. Each year the coalition distributes thousands of backpacks with grade appropriate school supplies to students in grades K-12.  

In 2023, more than 7,100 new backpacks filled with school supplies were distributed to local students. 

Reasons to support:

  • The average cost of school supplies hovers around $75 and not every family can afford this cost. 
  • Reduces the amount of money teachers spend from their own pockets to provide school supplies for their students. 
  • Helps families redirect their limited budgets to other important needs: rent, food, bills, school clothes, and more. 



Our goal is to provide over 9,000 filled backpack to students for the start of the 2024-25 school year.



When you donate to Backpack Coalition, we can purchase backpacks and school supplies at bulk rates.

Donate Now

Or to donate via check, mail to: United Way Pledge Processing, PO Box 88988, Milwaukee, WI 53288-8988
Payable to: United Way Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
NOTE: Please add to your check memo line, "Backpack Coalition Restricted Fund"

Need a Backpack?

The Backpack Coalition provides school supplies for students in:

  • Milwaukee Public School students attending one of our Milwaukee Community Partnership Schools, please contact your guidance counselor.
  • Waukesha County students attending Hadfield, Hawthorne, and Heyer Elementary schools and Waukesha South freshman, please contact your guidance counselor. Families who utilize the following agencies may sign up for supplies by June 14, 2024: Waukesha County Health & Human Services, Food Panty of Waukesha County, Mukwonago Food Pantry, Muskego Food Pantry, Oconomowoc Food Pantry, Pewaukee Food Pantry, and Waukesha Salvation Army. 
  • Germantown School District, please contact Stephanie Kaebish, School Social Worker at 262.502.7121 or at
  • Ozaukee County, please contact Melissa Parchim at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ozaukee County at to sign up by June 14, 2024.

For all other requests, please contact the free IMPACT 211 service (1.866.211.3380).

Backpack Coalition Committee

Our committe collaberates to ensure backpacks and supplies are beneficial to the students and distributed equitably.

Aurora Health Care, Child & Family Centers of Excellence, Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Germantown School District, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Milwaukee Area Labor Council AFL-CIO, Mukwonago Area School District, Mukwonago Food Pantry, Muskego Food Pantry, Oconomowoc Food Pantry, Pewaukee Food Pantry, School District of Waukesha, The Waukesha Salvation Army, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Waukesha County Health and Human Services, Waukesha County UW-Extension

Thank You to our 2024 Supporters

Please wait while we gather your results.

Questions? Contact Sydney Radandt at 414-837-3558 or email.