Get Free School Supplies in Columbia, SC (And Have Fun Doing It)

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Are you in need of free school supplies or clothing for your students this upcoming school year in and around Columbia, SC?  With the school year quickly approaching, families could be feeling extra financial pressure and we understand all the supplies, clothing, bookbags, etc. add up quickly! Fortunately local churches, community groups, schools, and organizations are planning quite a few free back-to-school supply events. Whether you’re in need of supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks, or even clothing we’ve got a lengthy list of places for you! 

Back to school free supplies in Columbia, SC

This article includes:
How Can I Get Free School Supplies for My Kids?
Columbia, SC Area Free School Supply Events

How Do I Get Free School Supplies for My Kids?

It is estimated that families will spend, on average, about $750 to get their kids ready to head back to school. While that number is shocking and stressful for so many, our Columbia community has done a fantastic job at putting together back-to-school supply drives and free events for families in need.

These events are fun and often include live music and free cook-out-style lunches in addition to a school supply giveaway. Celebrate back to school! The easiest way to get free school supplies for kids is to look for these community events. Below are several options for your kiddos to get what is on their school list in Columbia, SC.

Free School Supplies Events for Kids Near Columbia, SC

2023 Build a Backpack Event

When: July 15th, 2023 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Greenview Community Center, 6700 David Street, Columbia, SC
Details: Free school supplies from vendors, presented byt he CMMS Foundation
Build a Backpack Event

Back To School Bash Drive Thru – Richland County Recreation Department

Multiple Events!
When and Where:
July 28th, 2023 at 6 pm at North Springs Park, 1320 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC
August 3rd, 2023 at 6 pm at Meadowlake Park, 600 Beckman Road, Columbia, SC
August 4th, 2023 at 6 pm at Friarsgate Park, 1712 Chadford Road, Irmo, SC
August 10th, 2023 at 6 pm at St. Andrews Park, 920 Beatty Road, Columbia
August 11th, 2023 at 6 pm at Hopkins Park,150 Hopkins Park Road, Hopkins, SC
August 12th, 2023 at 11 am at Eastover Park, 1031 Main Street, Eastover, SC

Details: This is a drive-thru event where school supply stations will be set up throughout the parking lot. Students must be present and in the car in order to receive supplies. Supplies are a first come, first serve basis so plan to be there a few minutes early! For more information contact Melanie Comans at 803.741.7272 x 112.
Richland County Back To School Bash Drive Thru

Back to School Bash

When: July 29th, 2023 from 11 am to 3 pm
Where: 550 N. Parason Street, West Columbia
Details: Free school supplies, free food, live music, and fun
Back to School Bash

Community Back to School Bash

When: July 29th, 2023 from 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Church of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ of The Apostolic Faith, 1632 Germany Street, Columbia
Details: Free community event with free school supplies, free food, and community resources. There will be story time and bounce houses!
Community Back to School Bash

Back to School Event: His Hands Family Outreach Services

When: July 29th, 2023 from 9 am to 1 pm (You must register in advance, by July 16th!)
Where: Radius Church, White Knoll Campus
Details: Free school supplies and free activities including haircuts for kids K-8th grade, face painting, bounce houses, lunch, and more!
Back to School Event

Free Bookbag Giveaway

When: July 29th, 2023, 10 am to 11 am
Where: Irmo Community Park, 7505 Eastview Drive Irmo, SC
Details: Arise Church will be giving away bookbags stuffed with school supplies to children (while supplies last). There will be music, bouncy houses, free food, free sports physicals, sno cones and more!
Free Bookbag Giveaway

Back 2 School Calvary Community Church

When: July 29th, 2023 from 3 pm to 5 pm
Where: Calvary Community Church, 4045 Calvary Road, West Columbia
Deatils: Free school supplies and clothing while supplies last
Back 2 School Event at Cavlary Community Church

Back to School Bash- For Children and Adults With Hearing Loss and Their Families

When: July 29th, 2023, from 9 am to 11 am
Where: Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Columbia
Details: Free haircuts, free school supplies, snacks, information on resources, and visits with Juliet the therapy dog. This event is for families impacted by hearing loss.
Register in advance.

TCC Verizon – School Rocks Backpack Giveaway 

When: July 30th, 2023 1 pm
Where: TCC Verizon stores

  • TCC Irmo – 1100 Dutch Fork Rd., Ste G, Irmo, SC 29063
  • TCC Chapin – 1221 Chapin Rd., Ste G, Chapin, SC 29036
  • TCC Lexington – 851 Highway 378, Ste 104, Lexington, SC 29072 

Details: It’s the 11th anniversary of the School Rocks Giveaway and students can receive one backpack stocked with school supplies. This event giveaway is a first come, first serve basis so plan to be there early! 
School Rocks Backpack Giveaway

Back to School Bash: Rhema Word Restoration Ministries

When: July 30th, 2023 from 2 pm to 5 pm
Where: 908 North Brickyard Road, Columbia
Details: Free school supplies for kids K5- college. Free food, waterslide, bounce house, games and more.
Back to School Bash

Richland School District 2 Back to School Bash

When: August 5th, 2023, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: R2I2, 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia
Details: Free backpacks and school supplies (limited quantity) plus children’s activities, vision screenings, sports sign-up, job recruitment, and more!
Richland 2 Back to School Bash

Post 215 Back to School Bash

When: August 9th, 2023, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Columbia SC Louis D Simmons American Legion Post 215, 2433 Chappelle Street, Columbia
Details: Free fun and school supplies for kids
Post 215 Back to School Bash

Back 2 School Bash

When: August 12th, 2023, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Lorick Park, 1600 Lorick Avenue, Columbia
Details: Free food, games and school supplies. This event is put on by Healthy Blue and The City of Columbia Parks.
Back 2 School Bash

Yell Out for Youth

When: August 26th, 2023 from 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: MLK Park, 2300 Greene Street, Columbia
Details: Free food, games, ice cream, school supplies, parent giveaways, and free vendors
Yell Out For Youth

Gamecock School Supplies 

When: Throughout the school year
Where: Student Success Center
Details: This service is ONLY for undergraduates of the University of South Carolina. While this service is a little different than other events listed, we wanted to get the word out to any families that have college students! The Gamecock supply closet is the newest service of the Student Success Center and offers free school supplies such as notebooks, scantrons, dry erase boards, calculators, and much, much more. Students can utilize this service once every two weeks and all undergraduates are eligible with their valid Carolina Card. 
Gamecock School Supplies

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About the Author
How does Kidding Around® bring readers high-quality and up-to-date content month after month and season after season? We have a dedicated team of writers and editors who regularly update our fabulous content to keep it current and relevant for our readers. This team combs lists of events, heads out into the community to experience new Upstate offerings, and communicates with local businesses. Many of our updated articles and event lists, like this one, reflect the contributions and hard work of multiple Kidding Around® team members.

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