Here’s Where You Can Get Free School Supplies Around Columbia, SC

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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! Whether you’re in need of supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks, or even clothing we’ve got a lengthy list of places for you! 

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

Back To School Bash Drive Thru – Richland County Recreation Department

Multiple Events!
When and Where:
August 9 at 6 pm Polo Road Park – 800 Polo Rd., Columbia
August 12 at 6:30 pm St. Andrews Park- 920 Beatty Road Columbia
August 13 at 10 am Bluff Road Park- 148 Carswell Drive Columbia
August 13 at 10 am Eastover Park- 1031 Main Street, Eastover, SC
August 13 at 11 am Ridgewood Park Community Center- 805 Crest Street Columbia
August 20 at 11 am Pinegrove Community Center- 937 Piney Wood Road, Columbia

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 and the driver of the vehicle must be wearing a mask. Supplies are a first come, first serve basis so plan to be there a few minutes early! For more information contact Ashley Adams at 803.741.7272.
Richland County Back To School Bash Drive Thru

Divinity Chapter- Back 2 School Bash

When: August 13, 2022 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: 7045 Parklane Road, Columbia (Parking lot)
Details: Bookbag giveaway with supplies
Divinity Chapter- Back 2 School Bash

Richland School District 2 Back to School Bash

When: August 13th, 2022, 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

School Inflation Buster

When: August 13, 2022 at 11 am
Where: Denny Terrace Community Center, 6429 Bishop Avenue, Columbia
Details: Presented by Columbia Writers Alliance, free school supplies, door prizes, food truck vendors and live entertainment.
School Inflation Buster

Salvation Army – Operation: School Supplies 

When: August 14, 2022- Must apply by July 22, 2022.
Where: 3024 Farrow Rd., Columbia, SC 29203 
Details: Each child can receive a new backpack filled with school supplies based on their grade level. To qualify, all students must live in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, or Fairfield counties AND meet all other application requirements. The application must be completed and submitted by July 22, 2022. 
Salvation Army-Operation: School Supplies- register

These Free School Supplies Are Past Events, Check Again For Them Next Year

Blaney Baptist Church – Back to School Clothing and Supply Giveaway

When: July 23, 2022 from 8 am – 12 pm 
Where: Blaney Baptist Church – 1400 Blaney Road, Elgin, SC 29045
Details: Each student present will receive one backpack filled with school supplies AND school clothes as needed. 
Blaney Baptist Church- Back to School Clothing and Supply Giveaway

Uncle Sonny Initiative Bookbag Giveaway

When: July 23, 2022 from 1 pm – 3 pm 
Where: Champion Lifestyle Barbershop, 694 US-1, Lugoff, SC 
Details: Stop by the barbershop with your student and get a free book bag full of supplies to get them ready to go back to school! 
Uncle Sonny Initiative Bookbag Giveaway

Sports & Skate Station USA – Back-To-School Event

When: July 27, 2022 from 11 am – 2 pm
Where: 129 Oak Drive, Lexington, SC 29073
Details: The first 300 students to attend this event will receive a free backpack, books, and clothing. Additionally, 10 bicycles will be given away with drawings throughout the day. Lunch will be catered by Alodia’s restaurant.

Sports and Skate Station USA

Build a Backpack: Back-to-School Event – Doko Meadows Park 

When: July 30, 2022 from 9 am – 2 pm 
Where: Doko Meadows Park – 171 Langford Rd., Blythewood, SC 29016 
Details: The CCMS Foundation will host a back-to-school event full of games activities, raffles, and more! While there, students can receive a new backpack that they can fill with school supplies that they will need throughout the upcoming year. 
Build a Backpack: Back-to-School Event

TCC Verizon – School Rocks Backpack Giveaway 

When: July 31, 2022 from 1 pm – 4 pm 


  • 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 10th 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

Fireflies Back to School Night and Lunch Box Giveaway 

When: August 5, 2022 at 7 pm 
Where: Segra Park – 1640 Freed St., Columbia, SC 29201
Details: The Columbia Fireflies baseball team will be giving away a limited supply of FREE lunchboxes at their game against the Charleston Riverdogs. You must purchase tickets for the game in order to receive a lunchbox. We suggest getting there early as lunch boxes could run out quickly. 
Fireflies Back to School Night Lunch Box Giveaway

Back to School Giveaway

When: August 6, 2022 11 am to 2 pm (Free hair cuts for kids from 9 am to 12 pm)
Where: My House Restaurant and Bar 7205 Two Notch Road, Columbia
Details: This free event includes free school supplies, free food and snow cones, live music, and more.
Back to School Giveaway

Theta Phi Sigma – Back 2 School Bash 

When: August 6, 2022 from 10 am – 12 pm 
Where: Pine Grove Community Center – 937 Piney Woods Rd., Columbia, SC 29210 
Details: This is a free event hosted by Theta Phi Sigma where they will be giving away school supplies and snacks while supplies last. 
Theta Phi Sigma- Back 2 School Bash

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

In the Upstate area? Don’t miss free school supplies near Greenville, SC.

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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