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, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Where: West Side Park, 400 W. University, Champaign
Details: Free school supplies, book bags, food and bounce house (while supplies last).
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: 08/09/2021, All Day
Where: Blind Pig Brewery, 120 N. Neil St., Champaign
Details: Anyone in need can stop in to Blind Pig Brewery at 120 N. Neil St. to grab a backpack and/or school supplies (while supplies last).
When: 08/12/2021, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: Urbana Middle School, 1201 South Vine Street, Urbana
Details: Urbana School District is partnering with CU Public Health for this back to school night! School supply giveaway, light dinner, connect with community resources and Covid-19 vaccine clinic, too
When: 08/14/2021, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: New Hope Church, 911 W Bradley Ave, Champaign
Details: New Hope Church is hosting a Back-2-School event this Saturday, August 14th from 12-4 pm! They will have food, games and activities, music, open mic, giveaways, and community information! There's something for the whole family! This event is sponsored by the NAACP Champaign County with collaboration from DREAAM, Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, The Ministerial Alliance of Champaign-Urbana & Vicinity, Foster Grandparent, Central Illinois Purity, the Trauma & Resilience Initiative, and other community groups and organizations!
When: 08/14/2021, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, 201 E Park St, Champaign
Details: FREE SCHOOL SUPPLY GIVEAWAY this Saturday, August 14th!!! Pull up in front of Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club (201 E. Park Street). *First-come first-served. Limit 1 kit/student
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.
When: 09/01/2021, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: , ,
Details: chambanamoms.com and Christie Clinic have joined forces to host an awesome, FREE back-to-school playdate in the great outdoors! Join us at Hessel Park in Champaign — we’ll be near the play equipment and splash pad on Wednesday, September 1, from 5:30-7 p.m. Special activities will be provided by our friends from Christie Clinic and more. Don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer, masks, as well as a change of clothes if your child plans to play in the splash pad. Kona Ice will be available for sale at this event. A portion of the sales that evening will go to the Champaign…read more…
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
- School Physicals: What’s Required for Illinois Students in 2021