Back to school time is exciting. It’s also expensive. Here are some places where you can get assistance for the students in your home if the lists of “must-buys” becomes too long.

Need School Supplies or Uniforms? Many churches and organizations do fundraisers to provide backpacks full of supplies. If you don’t see one below that fits your needs contact a large church in your area to see what they might have. Organizations like Operation School Bell, Backpack Attack, and give supplies directly to schools where they are then passed on to families in need so you can also contact your school to see if they can offer your child assistance with supplies. Individual school in IPS and other uniform-wearing districts frequently offer uniform trade-in programs or sales. Contact your child’s school to ask about similar programs!

Events Providing Backpacks, Supplies, and More:

Please note that at all events children must be present to collect that backpack and other supplies.

Pack the Parks-Pride Park

Saturday, July 8 from Noon-5 pm
1129 Vandeman Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

Free family day with food, vendors, school backpack giveaways, and more! First-come, first-served.

Perry Township Uniform Sale

Saturday, July 15 from 8 am-4 pm

Uniform pieces for sale $3-$6 each, kindergarten through adult sizes. Call for info: (317) 332-5800.

Shalom Health Fair-Shalom Health Center

Saturday, July 22 from 10 am-2 pm
3400 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222
(317) 291-7422 

Free Backpacks and Health Screenings-Child Immunizations; Sports Physicals; Blood Pressure and Glucose Testing; HIV Testing; Foot, Dental, STD, Prostate, Hearing, and Vision Screenings, Chiropractor. Entertainment-Soccer Clinic, Face Painting, Magician, Bicycle Raffle, Dance Groups, Music, More!

Child Advocates Free Kids’ Fair

Saturday July 22d, 9:30-11:30 am
4150 N. Keystone Avenue, Mainscape parking lot

Backpacks, school supplies, games, popcorn, free books. Free admission, inflatables, face painting, and more! Learn more at

Back to School Block Party-Indianapolis Urban League

Saturday, July 22,  10 am-1:30 pm
777 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis

Free Shoes, Health Screenings, Backpacks, School Supplies, Food!

Covering Kids & Families Back to School Family Day

Saturday, July 29 from 8:30 am-Noon
Marion County Public Health Department
3838 N. Rural Street, Indianapolis (Parking Lot)
(317) 221-2464

Free school supplies, health screenings, sports physicals, IFD Fire Safety Festival. Immunizations (with insurance or Medicaid card), Birth Certificates (fee and ID required).

Back to School Extravaganza

Saturday, July 29 from 10 am-2:30 pm (Advanced registration highly recommended)
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
100 West 86th Street, Indianapolis

Free backpack, school supplies, books, shoes, socks, and clothing (while supplies last), free vision and dental screening. Event includes a meal.

Tools for School-Merciful Help Center, Carmel

Supplies available starting on July 30th.
Children must be present. (
Families must APPLY BY JULY 10, 2017 at 5 pm. Spots are available on a first-come-first-served basis.)

Hamilton County families can apply to receive Free shoes, socks, underwear, coats, school supplies (of the children’s choosing and based on their supply list), and a free book.

TCC Rocks Backpack Bash Giveaway

July 23rd

Starting mid-July use this link to find a participating Verizon location near you to receive free backpacks filled with school supplies

Where to Donate

Indy Backpack Attack is a local organization that is currently wrapping up its 2017 supply & donation drive. This organization places bins around the city and collects the most needed supplies. Indy Backpack Attack partners directly with Indianapolis Public Schools to distribute supplies to students in need.

Hendricks County Backpack United is collecting common school supplies to assist children in Hendricks County Schools.

To donate supplies in surrounding counties, Indy Backpack Attack suggests contacting the United Way of Central Indiana. Each county office has a coordinator for area donations. Click here for a list of most wanted supplies.

Teacher’s Treasures is a local organization that helps teachers help students. Teachers are able to “shop” for supplies they need in their classrooms. Donations are accepted during business hours, and monetary donations can be made online.

School on Wheels provides tutors for students experiencing homelessness. This program functions on volunteers and donations, providing academic support for vulnerable students. School on Wheels accepts monetary donations on their website, and there’s a link to their Amazon wish list there as well.