Backpack Coalition


Backpack Coalition



Backpack Coalition, which has been led by United Way since 2014, is committed to providing backpacks and school supplies to students with financial constraints, helping ensure they succeed in school. Each year the coalition distributes thousands of backpacks with grade appropriate school supplies to students in grades K-12. 

The success of the Backpack Coalition is due to many caring volunteers, group supply drives, and our annual Fill the Bus event. In 2020, our strategy will look different to follow CDC guidelines but backpacks and school supplies are still needed. We know many local students rely on these backpacks so this year we are asking for a financial donation.



Goal: $65,000

We have raised $40,000 towards our goal!

This year the world of education took on a whole new look. Schools everywhere closed their doors, and kitchens in every neighborhood quickly became classrooms. Teachers and students discovered new ways to learn. Through all of the changes, one thing remained the same: the need for student school supplies was greater than ever.

As we hit milestones toward our goal of $65,000, we will color in the image above to show our progress. Donate by clicking the button below!



Or to donate via check, mail to:

United Way Pledge Processing
PO Box 88988
Milwaukee, WI 53288-8988

Enclosed payable to: United Way Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
Important: Please add to your check memo line, "Backpack Coalition Restricted Fund"

Coloring Pages for the Family

Show your family's support of education by downloading these coloring pages and having your kids color them! Post your finished artwork with the hashtag #HelpUsFillTheBus on social media and we'll feature you on our page. You can also send it to us via email to be featured.



Click on the icon to download the full coloring page!


Send a Virtual Note

Write a note to a teacher to let them know how much you appreciate them and a note to a student to give them encouragement to keep learning. Click the coordesponding button to fill out the notes.


Teachers   Students


How to Get a Backpack

Milwaukee: Backpacks will be distributed to our Milwaukee Community Partnership Schools.

Waukesha County: Applications available now through July 30 at: the Coalition Member Food Pantries of Muskego, Mukwonago, Oconomowoc, and Pewaukee including Waukesha Salvation Army and through your social worker at the Waukesha School District or Waukesha Health and Human Services.

Thank You Corporate Sponsors & Partners

With your help, in 2019, we were able to give 6,500 students a backpack filled with supplies to start the school year.

Advicent, Advocate Aurora Health, BMO Harris Bank, Briohn Building Corp, Charter Manufacturing, Church of the Resurrection, CSE Powered by Halo, Dana Investments, Eaton - Hickory Street, Eaton Cooper Power Systems, Enterprise holdings, Evangelical and Reform Church, Extension, Inc., First Student, Girl Scout Troop Franklin corners WISE, Good Harvest Pewaukee, Hamacher Resource Group, HNI Risk Solutions, Home Care Medical, Inc., HSA Bank, Irgens, Jason Industries, Johnson Controls, Kalmbach Media Co, Landmark Credit Union, M3 Insurance, Midwest Engineered Systems, Orbis Corp, Penrod, ProHealth Care,Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Rexnord Corp, Riverglen Christian Church, Rockwell Automation, Sikich LLP, SkyGen USA, Skyzone, Southridge Mall, Sunset Bank & Savings, Vernon Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waukesha State Bank, We Energies, Willis Towers Watson, Wisconsin Diagnostic, Walmart

Donated dollar and/or in-kind donations of $500 and above

Coalition Members

Aurora Health Care, Child & Family Centers of Excellence, Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Milwaukee Area Labor Council AFL-CIO, 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



Contact Lori Hayes at 414.837.3639 or email.

© 2020 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 39-0806190.