Project Cool

For children dealing with the daily chaos of homelessness, school can be an important source of stability. For over 33 years, Project Cool has supported more than 36,500 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.

Project Cool 2021 will still help hundreds of homeless students – but differently.

Thank you for your desire to support students in our community whose education has been disrupted by homelessness, and your offer to host a school supply drive for our Project Cool for Back-to-School program. Project Cool is on track to support 1,472 students in local public schools with sturdy backpacks and new school supplies this year – with a little help from our friends!  

What you can do: Host a Book Drive and Sponsor Project Cool 2021

Email to sponsor Project Cool or inquire hosting a Book Drive.

Sponsor Project Cool: This year we need to pay for all supplies and backpacks, plus shipping. Please consider becoming a Project Cool Sponsor with a gift of $250, $500, $1,000 or more to help cover our higher-than-normal expenses in this anything-but-normal year. We will be delighted to recognize sponsors in a variety of ways.

Host a Book Drive: We invite you to Host a Book Drive to ensure students have access to the art of reading! Think about some of your favorite books you read growing up or books and authors the kids in your life enjoy now. We request books that are representative of our diverse community, and kindly no books that highlight violence. We are particularly in need of books for 9-12th graders.

Book lists from the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System could spark your ideas. If your team is interested in more suggestions, we would be happy to share additional recommendations of titles and authors.

  • Coalition staff will be glad to work with you to coordinate a pickup or drop off plan for your books during August and September: email to coordinate.
  • If members of your team would like to support but purchasing books is not convenient, we welcome donations of any size.

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