Free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts and health exams in the Champaign-Urbana area


School supplies, backpacks, haircuts and free health checks in the Champaign-Urbana area

Back to school can be expensive – organizations and businesses in the area are there to help families with certain needs during the school year

The list grows every year. Back-to-school hairstyles, growing school supply lists, children’s school fees, new shoes and more… this could be one of the most expensive times of the year to be a parent. Fortunately, we have partners in the region who come together to support families in the Champaign-Urbana region during the start of the school year.

Need school supplies? Many churches and organizations in the area organize collections of backpacks and supplies (sometimes distributed together, sometimes separately). Sometimes they’re given out directly at school, so if you’re having trouble finding an event to register for, you can contact your child’s school directly and see if they have any donations available for that 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 any last minute changes or updates to the back-to-school events and activities listed in this article.

Events offering free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts or health checkups this year

Back to school raffle

When: 07/31/2021, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Or: 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

When: 07/31/2021, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Or: 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 links in the CU community, including a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the spot.

Distribution of backpacks and school supplies

When: 09.08.2021, all day
Or: Blind Pig Brewery, 120 N. Neil St., Champaign
Details: Anyone in need can stop by Blind Pig Brewery at 120 N. Neil St. to pick up a backpack and / or school supplies (while supplies last).

Back 2 School Evening

When: 12/08/2021, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Or: Urbana Middle School, 1201 South Vine Street, Urbana
Details: The Urbana school district is teaming up with CU Public Health for this back-to-school evening! Distribution of school supplies, light lunch, contact with community resources and the Covid-19 vaccination clinic as well

“It’s a family affair” – A back-to-school community event!

When: 08/14/2021, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Or: New Hope Church, 911 W Bradley Ave, Champaign
Details: The New Hope Church is organizing a Back-2-School event this Saturday August 14th from 12pm to 4pm! They’ll have food, games and activities, music, an open mic, freebies, and community information! There is something for the whole family! This event is sponsored by the NAACP Champaign County with the collaboration of DREAAM, Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, The Ministerial Alliance of Champaign-Urbana & Vicinity, Foster Grandparent, Central Illinois Purity, the Trauma & Resilience Initiative and other groups and community organizations!

Delivery of school supplies

When: 08/14/2021, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Or: Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, 201 E Park St, Champaign
Details: FREE SCHOOL SUPPLY OFFER this Saturday August 14 !!! Stop in front of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club (201 E. Park Street). *First come, first served. Limit 1 kit / student

Salon 105 Back to School Cups

When: 08/15/2021, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Or: Salon 105, 105 S Lincoln, Mahomet
Details: FREE back-to-school haircuts at Salon 105. No appointment required; shampoo and styling not included.

Fiesta de regreso a la escuela / Back to school party

When: 08/15/2021, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Or: Cultivators Kids Club, 555 S Maplewood Dr, Rantoul
Details: Free school supplies and backpacks, while supplies last. Make-up, bounce house, ice cream and more!

Kindergarten to grade 12 school supply kit delivery for back to school

When: 08/15/2021, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Or: Napleton’s Auto Park d’Urbana, 1111 O’Brien Drive, Urbana
Details: Community Sponsors of Champaign-Urbana present the Kindergarten to Grade 12 School Supply Kit FREE – School supply kits for Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes will be distributed Sunday, August 15 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Urbana car park in Napleton. NOTE: This is a driving event. Social distancing will be enforced. Please stay in your vehicle. Only 3 bags of school supplies per car. Children must be present to receive the bags.

The annual Conscious Community Connection school supply competition

When: 08/21/2021, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Or: 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. Don’t forget your masks. Limited offer, first come, first served.

Christie Clinic Presents a Back-to-School Outdoor Play Date

When: 09/01/2021, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Or: ,,
Details: and Christie Clinic have joined forces to organize a great and FREE back-to-school playdate in the great outdoors! Join us at Hessel Park in Champaign – we will be near the play equipment and the paddling pool on Wednesday, September 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Special activities will be offered by our friends at the Christie Clinic and more. Remember to bring hand sanitizer, masks, and a change of clothes if your child plans to play in the wading pool. Kona Ice will be available for sale at this event. Part of that evening’s sales will go to Champagne… read more…

Where to donate

Looking for places to donate school supplies? We have ideas!

Blind Pig Brewery, Champagne: Drop off a backpack or school supplies inside the Blind Pig at 120 N. Neil St. by August 7th. The supplies will be distributed on August 9 by the Blind Pig.

Creations of Winderson, Mahomet: Place donated school supplies on the table outside Winderson (Sangamon sur Main) to distribute to schools.

Are you organizing a FREE event or a distribution campaign this summer to prepare for the start of the school year?

We want to know! Submit your event here or email with details.

Discover our entire Back to School series, presented by Christie Clinic:

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