The goal of #2MillPencils is to collect 2 million pencils for Wilkinsburg students over the next 5 years. Wilkinsburg is a bustling borough outside of the City of Pittsburgh. In April of 2014, we partnered with the Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy for the 1st Smart Summit and have continued to develop partners in the Wilkinsburg community since then. In thinking about what to do for “Back to School”, collecting pencils was chosen as a simple way to bring multiple communities together and create a long-term, sustainable impact.
We chose “2 Million” because that is enough for each student to receive 200 pencils over the next 5 years — including public, private, and parochial schools. The outpouring of support has been nothing short of humbling. We even got featured by the Pittsburgh City Paper and later by the Post-Gazette.
Pencils represent more than just a school supply. One pencil can write approximately 45,000 words. Sure, pencils are used to complete schoolwork, but this is deeper than worksheets. Pencils are resources that allow students of all ages to express powerful ideas, to create exquisite pictures, and erase mistakes. They represent the ability to try, fail, and try again until a breakthrough occurs.
On top of that, pencils are “here today and gone tomorrow”. How many times can you remember looking in obscure places for the pencil you just had? Teachers try to provide supplies as often as they can, but on average, their budget for classroom supplies is just $200 for the entire year. After purchasing the first list of school supplies, many parents do not have the disposable income to continue to buy pencils.
That’s where you come in.
When Does the Drive End?
The pencil drive is on-going. We will collect pencils through August 2020.
I want to collect pencils at my school, organization, home, or business. What do I need to do?
Fantastic. Get started in 4 easy steps:
1) Identify a point of contact and email us to register. Outside of the requirement, we encourage your site to post to social media as frequently as possible using the hashtag #2MillPencils.
2) Set a goal. How many pencils will your site collect? 5,000? Can you make it a competition? For example, in schools, classrooms can compete to see which class is able to collect the most pencils.
3) COLLECT ALL THE PENCILS!
4) Contact our team to schedule a pick up time.
Community Partner Wish List: These are organizations/corporations we would like to donate pencils or serve as Drop-Off Sites. Know someone who can help us out? Send a message.
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Pittsburgh
- Carlow University
- Macedonia Baptist Church
- Mt. Ararat Baptist Church
- The Kingsley Association
- The Pittsburgh Steelers
- PNC Bank
- BNY Mellon
- Fifth Third Bank
- Trader Joes
I need a cheat sheet to guide my giving.
$10 purchases 90 pencils
$20 purchases 180 pencils
$50 purchases 423 pencils
$100 purchases 847 pencils
$500 purchases 4,235 pencils
I want to sponsor something specific. What’s on your wishlist?
Glad you asked!
- U-Haul Rental for Pickups and Deliveries
- Volunteer Refreshments
- Volunteer T-Shirts (Your logo will be front and center if you sponsor these!)