As back-to-school season approaches — alarmingly fast, as usual — Philly kids in need of new backpacks or school supplies are in luck.
There are several opportunities to get free school supply bags hosted by organizations throughout the city and School District of Philadelphia. And for people who want to contribute, there are plenty of opportunities to do so as well.
Scroll down for backpack drives Philly families can get this month, as well as a couple of places people can donate to help local students get ready to go back to school this fall.
If you know of any others, please let us know at email@example.com.
Various dates/times until August 20
The district is embarking on a bus tour of Philly neighborhoods this month where families can learn about the back-to-school season and enroll children in pre-K through 12th grade, as well as pick up backpacks and supplies free school
There are “mega-events” in some locations and shorter pop-ups in others. Some locations also offer immunizations and physicals, although parents should register their children in advance.
Upcoming dates and locations include:
6309 Germantown Ave.
From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, August 20
The 6300 Germantown Avenue Business Alliance and the Concord School House and Upper Burying Ground in Germantown plan to distribute 250 backpacks to families with children on a first-come, first-served basis.
400 E. Indiana Ave. (Hissey Playground)
From 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, August 20
Immortal Vision Studio, a newly founded photography studio and event space, is hosting a “comeback” as part of its community weekend. A back-to-school drive is planned to give away backpacks, notebooks, pencils, paper, lunch boxes and other supplies, according to the Eventbrite page.
5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway (Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library)
From 2 pm to 6 pm Wednesday 24 August
The Cobbs Creek branch of the Free Library will host a fair with activities, giveaways, free books and refreshments, and yes, free backpacks and school supplies. Attendees will also be able to pick up kits for job seekers, get information about Medicare and talk to people from community organizations.
1854 N. 22nd St.
From 12 to 1.30 pm Saturday 27 August
Greater Enon Missionary Baptist Church at the corner of 22nd and Berks plans to distribute school supply bags to families, according to the church’s Facebook page, and will collect donations up to a week before the event.
6401 Elmwood Ave. (Connell Park)
13.00 to 16.00 hours, August 27
Local mutual aid group Gentle Gratitude is hosting an event where they will be handing out free school supplies, fresh produce and barbecue to students preparing for the new school year.
If you’re interested in donating to the drive: You can buy something at the group’s Target registry or contact one of the group’s founders via Instagram DM or phone. Mariposa Food Co-Op (4824 Baltimore Ave.) is accepting donation drops through Aug. 22, and Lather Hair Studio (2736 W. Girard Ave.) also has a drop box.
1509 Spring Garden Ave.
From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, August 28
Philly-based fashion brand Milano Di Rouge announced a free back-to-school event at its Spring Garden Street location, where the company plans to give away 500 free backpacks filled with school supplies.
100 S. Broad St., Suite 1341
Drop in Thursday, August 11th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm or donate online
Center City-based nonprofit Women Against Abuse is looking for backpacks filled with freshly purchased school supplies, such as pens, crayons, calculators, hand sanitizer, child-sized masks or construction paper for the kids of families who have fled violent homes. You can drop the bags off at the organization’s office on Thursday afternoon or send them something from an Amazon wish list.
5901 Market St., Suite 410
Sign up to donate by Monday, August 15
ACHIEVEability, a nonprofit working to fight generational poverty in West Philly, is looking for donors to sponsor more than 650 kids to get new sets of supplies before the school year starts. Until Monday, the organization is looking for backpacks, pens, pencils, notebooks, notebooks, and other school supplies to distribute to children in mid-August. Donor registration is on this form.
1500 Sansom St., Suite 300
Until Wednesday, August 31
Non-profit Valley Youth House has partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to fundraise and collect school and bedroom essentials for foster youth who are part of the Achieving Independence Center of the city and prepare to go to university. The organization accepts in-kind donations, such as Chromebooks, linens, gift cards or cleaning supplies, as well as monetary donations for care packages, textbooks or tuition assistance.
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