Free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts and health screenings in the Champaign-Urbana area
Back to school can be expensive — area organizations and businesses are here to help families with some school year needs
The list gets longer every year. Back to school haircuts, growing school supply lists, fees to register kids at school, new shoes and so much more … this might be one of the most expensive times of year to be a parent. Thankfully, we have area partners who are coming together to support Champaign-Urbana area families during the back-to-school season.
Need school supplies? Many area churches and organizations do collection drives for backpacks and supplies (sometimes distributed together, sometimes separately). Sometimes these are distributed directly to the school, so if you have a hard time finding an event to register for, you may reach out directly to your child’s school and see if they have any provided donations available for this school year.
Editor’s Note: chambanamoms.com is not a sponsor of the events listed below. All events have limited supplies or appointments available; please check with the organization or plan to go early to these events. We are not responsible for last minute changes or updates to back-to-school events and activities listed in this post.
Events providing free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts or health screenings this year
When: 07/31/2021, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana
Details: FREE school supplies and FREE food distributed at this event for the immigrant and refugee community, along with a number of other valuable resource connections in the C-U community including a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on-site.
When: 08/15/2021, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Where: Salon 105, 105 S Lincoln, Mahomet
Details: FREE back to school haircuts at Salon 105. Walk-ins only; shampoo and style not included.
When: 08/15/2021, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Where: Cultivators Kids Club, 555 S Maplewood Dr, Rantoul
Details: Free school supplies and backpacks, while supplies last. Face painting, bounce house, ice cream and more!
When: 08/15/2021, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Napleton’s Auto Park of Urbana, 1111 O'Brien Drive, Urbana
Details: Champaign-Urbana Community Sponsors Presents K-12 School Supply Kit Giveaway FREE - School Supply Kits for grades K-12 will be distributed on Sunday, August 15th from 2-5 p.m. at Napleton's Auto Park Urbana. NOTE: This is a drive-thru event. Social distancing will be enforced. Please stay in your vehicle. Only 3 school supply bags per car. Children must be present to receive bags.
When: 08/21/2021, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Urbana/Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana
Details: The Conscious Community Connection is hosting a back to school giveaway. They will have music and refreshments. Please remember your masks. Limited supply, first come, first serve.
Where to donate
Looking for places to donate school supplies? We have some ideas!
Blind Pig Brewery, Champaign: Drop off a backpack or school supplies inside the Blind Pig at 120 N. Neil St. before Aug. 7. Supplies will be distributed on Aug. 9 by the Blind Pig.
Winderson’s Creations, Mahomet: Drop off school supply donations on the table outside Winderson’s (Sangamon on Main) to be distributed through the schools.
Have a FREE event or a distribution drive going on this summer to prepare for back to school?
We want to know about it! Submit your event here or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Check out our entire Back to School Series, presented by Christie Clinic:
- Back to School: Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten
- Back to School: 9 Tips to Prepare for the School Routine
- Money-Saving Tips for Back-to-School Shopping
- Champaign-Urbana Area School Start Dates
- Back to School: Dental, Vision Exams Required for Illinois Students
- Champaign-Urbana Area School Registration Information for 2021-22
- Back to School: Immunizations Required for Illinois Students