By now most Maryland families have completed their "parental homework" of emergency procedure cards and reduced lunch applications. Any day now students will be bringing home the dreaded fundraisers.
Realize how critical these fundraisers are to the PTA's and community organizations. If you cannot buy from the catalog, consider donating $1 or $5 in cash to them directly.
In the meantime there are many rewards programs for stores that we shop at year round that will give money back to our local schools. If you live in Columbia but your nephew goes to school in Silver Spring, you can still donate to his school. Here is a list of stores that use their rewards program to donate to local schools but need you to register and make your designations ANNUALLY.
- Target Take Charge of Education. Red Cards - VISA credit card. If you have a Target credit card, you can designate your school to receive 1% in your Target purchases. You also get the rewards for yourself through their Pharmacy program and Target Rewards program.
- Target Take Charge of Education. Red Cards - Check/Debit card. You can also link your current checking account to a Target Red Card where your purchases at Target come out of your normal bank account but you receive the benefits of the Take Charge of Education 1% donation, the Target Rewards 10% program and the Pharmacy Rewards program.
- Bloom. Bloom for your school program.
- Giant Food. A+ School Rewards. You can designate up to three schools. Check back if your school has not already registered for this year since they need to update annually as well.
- Food Lion. MVP Rewards. You can choose between a school or a community organization. They only let you make changes on a quarterly basis and then your window is closed. It helps for the administration side.
Office Depot also has their 5% Back to Schools program where you give your school's ID number when you check out or order online. You have to get the number from your school or from a list at your local Office Depot store. If you made purchases already, you can retro designate your school with your receipt in front of you through their online link.
And don't forget the great Box Tops for Education! Every box top counts. Look for special products out right now that offer special bonus Box Tops.
Watch for more low maintenance tips on how to support your local schools.