The 2021-2022 school year is fast approaching and for some locals, school supplies can be an expensive cost. According to a 2020 article from CNBC, parents spend about $529 on back-to-school items each year, including clothing.
To help, many local organizations are collecting hundreds and hundreds of school supplies, backpacks and more to be distributed, along with back-to-school activities.
One of the largest drives, United Way’s Stuff the Bus, distributes school supplies directly to local school systems. Social workers then determine which students need these supplies.
Without supplies on the first day of school, students are already starting behind, said United Way President and CEO Brittany Burnett.
“We know that many families in our community are still struggling to make ends meet, so if we can help them by providing supplies for their children, it will be nothing but a relief for them and they can use the resources to pay something else,” she said.
Where to donate
United Way will host two Stuff the Bus events – 8 a.m. to noon on July 23 at Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St. in Augusta, and 5 p.m. on August 1 at SRP Park, 187 Railroad Ave. in North Augusta. Those who donate to SRP Park will receive a free hot dog voucher for a GreenJackets game.
The ministry of the bridge collects supplies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at their office at 715 South Old Belair Road in Martinez.
Jonathan English State Farm Insurance will have two Stuff the Bus events on July 31 and August 7 at the Evans Walmart, 4469 Washington Road. Both start at 9am
Where to pick up
A number of organizations and communities provide school supply giveaways.
Richmond County DFACS will have supplies available July 16 from 11 a.m. until sold out at 3310 Old Louisville Road in Augusta. Medical and dental exams, products, gifts and community services will also be available.
Taqueria El Rey will have 100 backpacks with supplies available this past July 19 beginning at 11 a.m. at 3830 Washington Road, Suite 25, Augusta.
Augusta Boxing Club is hosting its third annual Knock Out the Need campaign from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the club at 1929 Walton Way. Secretary Tiffany Cannon said 500 bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and are each filled with notebooks, pencils, pens and other school supplies. There will also be free food, multiple vendors, bouncy houses, and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations administered.
Cornerstone Apostolic Church, at 836 Edgefield Road in North Augusta, will distribute supplies on July 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Community members will have supplies, free food, haircuts and a bouncy house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 31 at the Winfield Ballpark on Cobbham Road in Appling.
Fit4School will have two events. The first, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 31 at James Brown Arena, will be a drive-in event. The second begins at 10 a.m. on August 7 at Aiken County Family Y, 621 Trolley Line Road in Graniteville, and will also offer free health checks and haircuts.
July 31, Augusta Worship Center, at 3840 Mike Padgett Road. in Augusta, will host a back-to-school giveaway on July 31 at its COVID-19 vaccination event. Starting at 10 a.m., the first 100 school-age children will receive a backpack full of school supplies. The child must be present and the backpacks will be distributed on a first-served basis. Supplies were donated by SRP Credit Union, Augusta University and Meybohm.
Aiken Technical College will be the site of a school supply giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon on August 7 at 2276 Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville. Free health and eye screenings, haircuts, music and food will also be available.
The Augusta Dream Center will be hosting a backpack on August 7 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Diamond Lakes Park, at 101 Diamond Lakes Way in Hephzibah, supplies will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 14.