Free School Supplies, Backpacks, Haircuts and Health Screenings in the Champaign-Urbana Area


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: 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

Back to School Raffle

Pre-registration required?
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).

Back-to-School Resource Fair for the Immigrant and Refugee Community in Champaign-Urbana

Pre-registration required? No
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.

Backpack and School Supply Distribution

Pre-registration required?
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).

Salon 105 Back to School Cuts

Pre-registration required? No
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.

The Conscious Community Connection Annual School Supply Giveaway

Pre-registration required? No
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 with the details.

Check out our entire Back to School Series, presented by Christie Clinic:

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