The new school year is quickly approaching, which means it’s time for school supply shopping. Low-income families don’t always have the opportunity to enjoy back-to-school shopping with their children. According to Deloitte, families with children in K-12 are projected to spend $529 per child on back-to-school needs this year, an increase over last year’s spending due to an increased emphasis on technology-based learning tools and other resources to help facilitate in-home learning.
School supply drives give the community an opportunity to help children in need begin the school year with all of the tools they need for academic success. Whether classes are online or in-person when it’s safe, you can help children start the school year ready for success!
See below for a list of school supply drives for those interested and able to donate, as well as a list of backpack and supply giveaways for families in need. If you know of an event happening in your community that isn’t included below, please let us know in the comments and we’ll add it!
School Supply Drives
Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation is offering special one-time funding category – ‘Recharge. Reconnect. Reward.’ – to pay for educational support items to help children in foster care succeed in school. COVID-19 is changing they way children learn, especially children in foster care. Help level the learning field for them so they have the same educational tools that every other child has. You can be a foster care hero! If you can help provide educational support to a child in foster care, visit affcf.org/edsupport.
Southwest Human Development is hosting its sixth annual Back-to-School Supply Drive to help children in need begin the school year with all of the tools they need for academic success. With so many uncertainties about how children will safely return to school and what the classroom will look like, low-income families need your help more than ever. Donating new school supplies to children in disadvantaged communities will make an impact on their ability to begin the school year school-ready. Donate online at swhd.org/schoolready!
Scottsdale Quarter is set to host a week-long school supply drive to benefit children in foster care during the upcoming academic year. In partnership with Arizona Helping Hands, the open-air shopping center will receive donations Aug. 3-9 on 73rd Place between the stores Albion Fit and PAIGE from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Donors will be able to leave items in a large collection bin in front of Scottsdale Quarter’s school bus display. Those interested in donating can find a list of needed items online. Individuals seeking to donate but are unable to drop off items have the option to participate virtually by sponsoring a backpack filled with supplies for $35. Learn more: scottsdalequarter.com.
AZTV and Valley of the Sun United Way Stuff the Bus Drive: helping provide youth across the Valley with new school supplies to prepare them for the school year. They are collecting supplies for several school districts that Valley of the Sun United Way partners with across the valley. Learn more and donate online: roonga.com/vsuwaztv.
Backpack SOS: The Salvation Army wants to help as many families as possible and teamed up with Fry’s Food Stores, Fox 10 Phoenix/Fox 10 Xtra, 99.9 KEZ, and American Express with its Backpack SOS (Support Our Students) campaign. From July 13 through August 2, donations can be dropped off at your local Fry’s Food Store. Learn more: salvationarmyphoenix.org/backpack-sos.
Back to School Clothing Drive: BTSCD provide school clothing, uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, and other essential items for elementary school-aged students, their families and schools, Throughout the rest of the year, they will continue providing support to other schools and districts through direct delivery of supplies and are still in need of both financial support and donations of supplies, which can be done online. For more information, visit backtoschoolclothingdrive.com.
JFCS Back to School Program: Jewish Family & Children’s Services provides school supplies to students through its Back to School Program. Donations of backpacks, pencils, scissors, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, composition books, markers, paper, pencil sharpeners and other supplies are needed. Drop off all donations from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at JFCS at 4747 N. 7th St, Suite 110, Phoenix. To find lists of back-to-school items needed, visit jfcsaz.org/volunteer.
Tucson Values Teachers: Teachers can sign up for a chance to receive an Jonathan’s Educational Resources gift certificate or Amazon gift card to use toward school supplies from Tucson Values Teachers. The number of cards that will be distributed depends on the donations they receive for this program. Donations can be made here.
Back to School Events – Backpack Giveaways
Third Annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway: Backpacks and school supplies will be given away to those in need at no charge at the Peoria Sports Complex (1610 N 83rd Ave) on August 1. The event will be from 7 a.m. until supplies last, first come first served. They are hoping to have enough supplies for approximately 600 to 800 students. This will be a drive through event and items will be provided based on grade level. Children must be in the car to receive items. You will not have to get out of the car. Learn more: facebook.com/events/peoria-sports-complex or call 623-773-7436.
Drive-Through School Supply Giveaway: Yavapai County School Districts, in conjunction with Firefighter Angel Foundation and Yavapai County Food Bank, presents the Drive-Through School Supply Giveaway! This event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12 from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm and is to help all Yavapai County families in need and military families. This event is being held at Heights Church in Prescott (2121 East Larry Caldwell Drive).
Arizona Bilingual Kidz Expo & Back-to-School Event: 3,000 backpacks will be distributed to children ages 4-14 at this drive-thru event which will also have live entertainment, raffles and resources from other vendors. Everyone is asked to remain in their vehicles and wear a mask when interacting with volunteers and vendors. The event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, 9 a.m. to noon at Kino Sport Complex (2500 E. Ajo Way). Learn more: facebook.com/events/401391167485490.
Badges & Backpacks Drive Thru Event: The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be giving out 500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies courtesy of Banner Aetna. School aged child must be present to receive a backpack. A walk-up station will be available for those utilizing public transportation, biking, or walking. Learn more: pimasheriff.org/services/badges-and-backpacks.
Tucson Values Teachers: Teachers can sign up for a chance to receive an Jonathan’s Educational Resources gift certificate or Amazon gift card to use toward school supplies from Tucson Values Teachers. Teachers can register here: tucsonvaluesteachers.org/teachers/tucson-supplies-teachers.
Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation is offering special one-time funding category – ‘Recharge. Reconnect. Reward.’ – to pay for educational support items to help children in foster care succeed in school. COVID-19 is changing they way children learn, especially children in foster care. If you know of a foster parent who could use some help to ‘Recharge. Reconnect. Reward.’ a child in their care, let them know that help is available through September 30. Learn more: affcf.org/edsupport.
Four Peaks for Teachers: Tempe-based Four Peaks Brewing Company is giving away supply kits to teachers across the state. Kits include commonly requested items like staplers, scissors, pencils and paper. Teachers are asked to fill out a short questionnaire to reserve a kit and they will be given a voucher to pick it up during a designated date and time in mid-August. Learn more: fourpeaksforteachers.org/arizona.