The 8 Best Places to Score Free School Supplies

Free school supplies can truly aid a family on a budget. All it takes is a little time and research to find great bargains on pencils, pens, and backpacks for no charge at all. It matters not what your family's background or income may be - just follow these 8 ways to free school supplies and score for your children today.

1.Charitable Organizations

The Salvation army, United Way, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are all organizations built to help people. These nonprofits exist to distribute millions of dollars worth of free school supplies to children in need each and every year. It is quite common for these charitable organizations to team up and put on major back to school festivals where they give away backpacks full of free school supplies to every child in attendance. All you need to do is call up your local organizations and inquire about their next free school supply event. Chances are even if they arenít hosting an event anytime soon, they will still be able to help you in acquiring the school supplies your child currently needs from nearby warehouses.

2. Local Media

Check out your local print and broadcast media avenues for current school supply sales. Your options potentially consist of news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, and radio announcements. These avenues are typically the first to know when a city is hosting a sale, giveaway, or charitable event. It is also extremely common for big name companies to host free school supply events as they reap free news coverage from those in attendance. The best part is that you do not have to pay for any of it. These events are normally held for the entire community without any background checks or income based qualifications. All you need to do is show up! To get in touch with a media outlet newsroom just call and ask for the education reporter or assignment editor.

3. School Districts

School Supplies

School supply lists can not only become pricey but they can also become lengthy. This is no secret and school administrators are aware that this can be an issue for some families. It is proactive to make sure your local school district is fully aware of these factors as well as your situation. It may take a form or two to prove that you do not possess the proper resources to purchase all of the necessary school supplies needed for your childís classes but once you are approved, your child will get help in acquiring everything he or she needs to go back to school fully equipped.

4. Backpack Programs

Backpack programs are put in place to specifically aid kids in acquiring all the school school supplies they need for the upcoming year absolutely free. Each child who participates will receive a brand new backpack filled to the brim with new school supplies. Backpack programs are typically offered to children who reside in low income households and/or those going through unusually extenuating circumstances. For instance, Office Depot hosts a National Backpack Program that has aided millions of students in acquiring proper school supplies since 2001. The Kids in Need Foundation also hosts two programs aiding children in need, hence the title. The first program provides children with brand new school supplies through events sponsored by the community, while the second program provides school supplies to children negatively affected by natural disasters. The Homeless Childrenís Education Fund has also distributed thousands upon thousands of backpacks to several shelters over the past ten years so that homeless children are able to acquire all of the essential school supplies required for the first day of school.

5. Churches

Churches are typically reliable in helping to work with you to acquire your child the school supplies they need for the upcoming school year. All you need to do is take initiative and call up your local church and explain to them your situation. Countless churches are also known for organizing annual school supply drives just in time for kids to head back to school. If your local church does not hold this type of event, the church secretary should know of a nearby church that does.

6. Chamber of Commerce

Your cities Chamber of Commerce may be throwing a free back to school supply event as well. Check your local chamber of commerceís online website for specific calendar events, times, and locations. It does not hurt to follow up with a call to the office in order to verify these dates and times. If your city is unfortunately not holding any official events, be sure to ask if they know of any surrounding businesses who have expressed interest in providing children in need with free school supplies.

7. Sale Papers

Sale papers are a great way to find free after rebate items for the first day of school. Keep in mind that sometimes the rebates are instant while other times you have to wait a week or two for the rebate check to arrive via mail. However, notebooks, pens, paper, and even backpacks have shown up on the free of charge rebate list - so, keep your eye out when doing your back to school shopping.

8. School Supply Swap

Did your children utilize all of their school supplies from this past school year? Probably not, and unfortunately they are now heading into a new school year where those old school supplies are no longer needed. Now it is time to get savvy and host a school supply swap. Have every parent in your neighborhood and ideally school district gather up all of their older, unused, school supplies and get ready to swap. Some schools may allow a formal school supply swap to take place in a classroom or auditorium on campus, while others will only allow you to put up flyers during registration. Either way you are winning and the rules are simple - bring your new and/or gently used school supplies to an agreed upon location and swap them with other parents or students for supplies that you need this year. Supplies like school uniforms, binders, books, school sweatshirts, and even backpacks can be utilized in free swapping. Now get to work!