No child should have to go back to school without the essentials, but with the new school year upon us and 1.4 million Aussie kids and teens considered to be living under the poverty line, many are asking for help through online charity GIVIT.
GIVIT is a 'virtual warehouse' that connects generous people who want to donate items, services or money, with people who need them.
Through the service's 'Back to School' appeal, over 6,500 requests have been made for schooling items for struggling families - from basic stationery to backpacks, lunch boxes and school shoes, as well as necessary tech items including laptops and tablets.
According to GIVIT's Engagement Officer, Kirsty Bender, requests for items are only growing as more schools return for the new year.
"GIVIT is essentially a smarter way to give. It gives charities the ability to put up specific requests for items to be donated for clients then enables the community to donate for those specific needs - which is quite powerful," Ms Bender told the Leader.
The charity has various appeals running throughout the year, including the Back to School appeal, as well as one for family and domestic violence, the NSW bushfires, Indigenous support, COVID-19, and more.
Ms Bender works with a few different charities to get items to people in need in the St George and Sutherland Shire areas, including one that works with kids in foster care.
"There is a big drive for back to school items including backpacks and stationery and Big W vouchers for school uniforms and shoes," she said.
GIVIT also works alongside Dunlea Centre in Engadine - a service that provides accommodation and schooling for children that come from troubled homes and are at risk of disengaging from education.
"They're asking for help for their music program. They also need visual arts diaries and headphones for kids to use for online learning," Ms Bender said.
Her team also works with domestic violence services in the area, and has recently assisted families with back to school items, food hampers, and children's clothing.
"Emergency grocery vouchers are needed on an ongoing basis in this area, too," said Ms Bender.
Go to givit.org.au to see what's needed in your area.