With the poor economy and all the job losses this year, there will probably be more kids than ever whose parents are unable to afford or have a hard time affording school supplies. If you have more than one kid in school you probably know that the list can get extensive and the cost pretty high. So, this year, when you're out shopping the good deals for supplies, would you consider buying extra? Then, when school starts, give the extras to your child's classroom teacher and ask her/him to give them to kids who don't have any. If no-one in her class needs any, I'm sure she can find another teacher who has a child who does.
Sometimes teachers or the school counselors know of children who need clothes but whose parents can't afford them. Before you donate your children's outgrown clothes to a thrift shop, it wouldn't hurt to contact the school and ask if they know of anyone who could use the clothes.