It’s almost Back-to-School time in Central Ohio and the high cost of school supplies leaves many parents unsure of how they will afford the needed materials. Below you will find a list of local organizations that provide free items for families in need. Be sure to check directly with each organization for the most up to date information or any changes.
This post has been updated with information for 2018. Please comment below if you know any other organizations that would be helpful for others.
Free Clothing & School Supplies:
Children in grades K-12 are provided new clothes free of charge. In addition, shoes, winter coats and school uniform vouchers are provided as well.
4300 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43214
Website: Charity Newsies
HandsOn Central Ohio
HandsOn provides resources for social and government services, including school supplies for those in need. All services are free throughout Franklin County 24 hours, 7 days a week.
195 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
2-1-1 or (614) 221-6766
Neighborhood Services, Inc. (NSI)
Do you live in the following zip codes 43201, 43202, 43210 or 43211? If so, your children in grades K-12 can receive the following school supplies: backpacks, writing utensils, paper, calculators, pens, and other school essentials. Sign up from July 2 – August 1, 2018.
Find more information here: Back-to-School Program
1950 North Fourth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201
Website: Neighborhood Services, Inc.
Tom Fennessy / Mike Harden Back-to-School Project
FREE backpack with school supplies giveaway
Date: Friday, August 10, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 11:30 am or until supplies last
Location: Shoemaker Industrial Solutions
831 Bonham Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
Website: Tom Fennessy
Provides hundreds of children each school year with new school supplies. Some school uniforms will be given out as well. Call to schedule an appointment.
2955 Switzer Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
Website: Victory Ministries
Welcome Warehouse offers programs to assist Dublin area families (Dublin City School students K-12 only for the 2018-2019 school year) who are temporarily in need. Those programs include: Clothing Warehouse and Back to School Outreach.
6305 Brand Road, Dublin, Ohio 43016
Website: Welcome Warehouse
Pick Up Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018
Back to School Family Community Day in partnership with National Urban League
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018
Time: 10:30 am- 5:00 pm (Doors open at 10 am)
Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center
There are lots of activities going on here such as free backpacks and school supplies (while supplies last), free health screenings, pop-up styling stations (first come, first served), free local farmer’s market bags filled with fresh produce, information & resources and live entertainment. Children must be accompanied by an adult and present to receive a backpack and school supplies.
Website: National Urban League
Gahanna Residents In Need (GRIN)
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
Time: 11:00 am- 1:00 pm
GRIN will be providing book bags, school supplies, socks, personal hygiene items, books, underwear and haircuts.
Application for assistance.
Location: Gahanna-Lincoln High School
School Supplies Give Away
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: The Purpose Center Church
16 Westerview Dr., Westerville, OH 43081
Website: The Purpose Center Church
Volunteers of America Operation Backpack
Volunteer of America provides backpacks to children in the VOA housing program, homeless children living in shelters and children in need. VOA works with partner agencies and school districts to provide as many backpacks as possible to students collected from Operation Backpacks.
1776 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
Website: Operation Backpack
Vineyard Columbus partners with Columbus City Schools to provide back to school support. Contact your child’s school to ask about the school supply giveaway.
Website: Vineyard Columbus
Trinity Baptist Church Community Fellowship
Mini car show, mini motorcycle show, game truck, bounce houses, game truck, food, dunk tank and a BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY.
Date: July 28, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: 461 St. Claire Avenue
Columbus, OH 43203
Website: Trinity Baptist Church
King Arts Complex: 6th Annual Back to School Community Day
SCHOOL SUPPLY GIVEAWAYS and live performances
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: 867 Mount Vernon Avenue
(614) 645- 5464
Website: Kings Arts Complex
Hopefully this list provides you with ideas on where to check for free clothing and supplies if you are in need.
**Clothing and school supplies subject to families needs and availability**