Bartell Drugs’ 19th Annual School Tools Supply Drive Fills Gaps Left by Pandemic for Families in Western Washington


August 4, 2021

SEATTLE– As pandemic uncertainties continue for many across the Puget Sound region, the back-to-school season may bring unique challenges for families purchasing school supplies. Whether learning in the classroom or virtually, as many as 58,000 students in Western Washington begin the year without basic school supplies. This month, Bartell Drugs’ 19th annual School Tools supply drive will help local students and families start the school year off right.

In partnership with local radio station STAR 101.5 and World Vision, Bartell’s has adapted the School Tools program to reflect the evolving needs of students and families as the pandemic continues. The donation drive will aim to collect items such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, toiletries, personal care items, nonperishable food and basic school essentials. With the help of local school counselors, students and families who could benefit from this program are identified, and World Vision volunteers deliver food and essentials kits to them directly.

“We are humbled every year by the show of support and generosity from our community,” said Ken Mahoney, SVP of Operations for Bartell Drugs. “In 2020, Bartell’s delivered $171,000-worth of school supplies, which filled a full tractor trailer, for local students – everything from pens and markers to folders and feminine hygiene supplies. This year, please join us as we continue to collect school supplies for local students in need.”

From August 1 to 28, Bartell’s welcomes donations of school supplies and hygiene products to support students in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Bartell’s has set a sales goal of $200,000 for the 2021 drive.

There are three ways to donate: Customers can purchase select items marked in-store with “School Tools” tags and place them in red donation bins at the front of the stores; cash donations are also accepted at all neighborhood Bartell Drugs locations; lastly, monetary donations can be contributed online at Help kids in need and donate to Bartell’s 19th annual School Tools Drive ( beginning August 1.

“Every child deserves an education. Education can lift a child out of poverty and life’s unforeseen circumstances and provide a second chance to reach their full potential. Yet, many lack basic supplies critical for learning. Teachers themselves spend an average of $500 out of pocket (many spend much more) to provide their students with necessary items,” said Michael Gillespie, senior director of corporate engagement at World Vision. “These supplies can set a student’s education journey into motion by instilling confidence to complete schoolwork, create a sense of pride in ownership, and restore dignity by leveling the playing field among better resourced peers. World Vision’s long-term relationships with 174 schools in our local communities will allow your donation at Bartell’s to reach the children that need it the most.”

About Bartell Drugs: Operating 67 locations in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties and serving the Northwest since 1890, locally owned Bartell Drugs is dedicated to providing extraordinary service that advances health, happiness and wellbeing. For more information on Bartell Drugs, visit

Media Contacts:
Steven Frestedt, Marketing Lead, Bartell Drugs,
Aaron Blank, Fearey for Bartell Drugs,
Nikki Arnone, Fearey for Bartell Drugs,