Project Cool

For children dealing with the daily chaos of homelessness, school can be an important source of stability. For over 31 years, Project Cool has supported more than 33,800 homeless students.

Every fall through Project Cool, Coalition members and volunteers make sure that hundreds of homeless children and youth start the school year off right. Project Cool helps homeless students get the school supplies they need to feel confident and be prepared. Included with every backpack a student receives is a guide to Understanding Educational Rights for Homeless and Unstably Housed Students as outlined by the McKinney Vento Act. The Coalition also regularly provides training for staff working with youth and unaccompanied minors to help them advocate for and support the educational rights of homeless students.

2021 update: As we did in 2020, we’re doing Project Cool differently this year due to COVID-19. We still want to benefit members who serve kids and know that school won’t look the same. We anticipate there will be shifts in what students, parents, and members need this year. We are working in August to get supplies and backpacks to students, but we will not be having volunteer days for public health reasons. We invite you to support students who are experiencing homelessness and this work with a donation to Project Cool.

Get involved!

Project Cool for Back-to-School happens each year thanks to people like you. We welcome your help!

  • $60 will provide 1 student with a new backpack, filled with quality school supplies, age appropriate books, and key basic health items.
  • $100 will allow 25 high school 9th graders to write their first high school essays in new spiral notebooks.
  • $200 will color the lives of 30 young students as they begin kindergarten with new crayons, markers, colored pencils.

For more info: email projectcool[at]homelessinfo[dot]org or call 206-204-8350. 

Here are some of the ways you can put your interest into action:

  1. Donate to Project Cool. Donate securely on-line or by mail (make checks out to “Coalition on Homelessness” and send to 85 S. Washington St., Suite 310, Seattle, WA 98104). Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. School supply and dental donations can easily be dropped off at our drop-off sites in Wallingford or Columbia City. Call 206-204-8350 to schedule a drop-off time!.

  2. Sponsor Project Cool. Your company can make a difference and be recognized in Coalition communications and on our website. Project Cool sponsorship starts at $500. Email operations[at] to join as a sponsor.

  3. Host a Supply Drive or Fundraiser. Call us at 206-204-8350 or email projectcool[at] for everything you need to know to set up a successful supply drive or fundraiser. Before you start your supply drive, please review our Project Cool Wish List. And download the 2019 Project Cool Poster!

  4. Invite your dentist to donate dental supplies. We include toothpaste, floss, and individually wrapped toothbrushes in every backpack. Here is a sample letter to use!

  5. Volunteer with us (in the future)! We have volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, friends, and service groups during spring, summer, and fall! Sign up for our Helping Homeless Students email list to hear about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

  6. Like us on Facebook and invite your friends!

Check out our 2016 Project Cool Report
View our 2016 Annual Report poster includes Project Cool, One Night Count, Voter Registration, Education, & Advocacy.

Download the report