Running Start for School 2017

Running Start for School

Helping Students Succeed

Running Start for School is a community-wide backpack and school supply drive to ensure every child is prepared to succeed in school. When students have the tools they need to succeed, they score better on tests, increase their attendance, and are more likely to graduate on time. This year over 8,700 students in Olmsted County may need our help with getting a backpack and school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year. Get involved by donating, hosting a collection, volunteering, and encouraging others to help our children and youth reach their potential in school and the community.


There are three easy ways to make a donation to help students succeed by supporting Running Start for School:

  • Purchase needed school supplies while you're shopping in our community and drop them off at United Way by August 4. We cannot guarantee that supplies received after August 4 will be packed into school kits for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Give a monetary donation online (Please include "Running Start for School" in the contribution note) or by mailing a check to United Way of Olmsted County, 903 West Center Street, Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55902
  • Visit our online store, Roonga. Our Roonga store is closed for 2017. Check back June 1, 2018 to donate school supplies online.



We still need as many as 100 volunteers between now and August 21! Sign up on our volunteer portal, Get Connected.

Volunteers are needed for:

  • Set up and take down
  • Donation inventory
  • School supply kit assembly


Champions and Collection Partners

Our champions and collection partners help make Running Start for School a success by giving back to the community. Thank you to our 2017 champions:
Home Depot, Kids in Need Foundation, People's Energy Cooperative, Rochester Kiwanis, and UPS!

Thank you to our many community collection partners! If you held a collection in 2017, email us a photo of your collection so we can celebrate and share your ideas.


How to Receive Free School Supplies

Families that are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch are eligible to receive free school supplies through Running Start for School. School supplies will be distributed by individual school districts. Click here for more information about how to get your Running Start school supplies!


Contact Information

Emily Johnston