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Free School Supplies in Grand Rapids, MI

Free School Supplies in Grand Rapids, MI

The thought of getting school supplies and clothing as a new academic calendar begins can cause anxiety for low-income individuals. But you don’t have to worry anymore. We’ve done some research and curated a comprehensive list of organizations and programs offering free school supplies and clothes in Grand Rapids, MI. If this excites you, keep reading to learn more. 


Nonprofits Offering Free School Supplies

If you’re a low-income individual wondering how to get school supplies for free in Grand Rapids, here are a few places to look:

Endless Opportunities

Endless Opportunities is a charitable organization in partnership with local businesses across Grand Rapids dedicated to providing young people with what they need to thrive. 

Each year, they host the Endless Opportunities Back to School Celebration in Grand Rapids, where low-income students gather together to get free haircuts and 12–18 hairdos, school supplies, and other things to make them feel confident. 

Endless Opportunities offers more than just free school supplies to Grand Rapids students. To help the students meet professionals who can offer insights to help shape their future, they offer mentoring programs and speed networking opportunities.  The students also gain professional dining manners by taking part in the annual Youth Etiquette Dinner. 


To join the Endless Opportunities community, you have to fill out a form where you’ll be prompted to select a mentoring program and provide other details. The form is only available to students ages 12–18. 

Heart of West Michigan United Way

Heart of West Michigan United Way is another organization that low-income students in West Michigan (Grand Rapids, inclusive) can look to for school supplies. They collaborate with several nonprofit partners to organize an annual program called Stuff the Bus

United Way recognizes that quality education is fundamental for success and a better future for students. Through Stuff the Bus every year, they provide school supplies to low-income students to help lift some of the financial burden on their parents/guardians. Their goal is to ensure students have the necessary materials to focus on learning rather than thinking about what they lack to participate in school. 

Currently, over 20 schools are benefiting from this program. The school supplies usually consist of backpacks, pencils, large erasers, calculators, crayons, spiral notebooks, highlighters, gluesticks, pens, and more. They also provide items like tissues, antibacterial wipes, paper towels, dry-erase markers, filler paper, and printed paper for classrooms. 

If you want to benefit from the program, you can call for help now to get connected to resources. 

The StoreHouse

The StoreHouse of Michigan in Greater Grand Rapids is a nonprofit organization that provides new and donated school supplies to their local nonprofits and school partners.  The organization also provides household products for low-income individuals in West Michigan. 

The goal of the storehouse is to significantly reduce poverty levels and foster a more sustainable future for the residents of Grand Rapids. One of the ways they achieve this is by providing vital school supplies to both teachers and students in low-income schools.  


Full-time teachers of schools with over 70% of low-income students also get an opportunity to get classroom supplies annually from the StoreHouse. They can get items like paper, pencils, notebooks, binders, and folders. Other items like small rugs, Kleenex, rubber bands, wipes, staples, backpacks, and some furniture are also available for eligible schools. 

Lastly, the organization offers administrators of eligible schools access (annually) to bulk building-related supplies. Eligibility is measured by how many low-income students are available in the school; at least 70%, as reported by, is acceptable. 

You can apply online for the StoreHouse membership.

Grand Rapids Public School Foundation Programs

The last organization on our list for free school supplies in Grand Rapids is the Grand Rapids Public School Foundation (GRPS). As you can guess from the name, the organization is dedicated to providing support to public schools in Grand Rapids. 

The organization offers various programs, each fulfilling a cause. But for free school supplies, the programs we’re interested in are the Resource Support for Students, Teacher Innovation Fund, and Teresa Weatherall Neal Principal Funds. 

The Teresa Weatherall Neal Principal Fund is designed to help principals lead their students through any obstacle they may experience in their educational journey. This help can come in the form of funding for resources, programs, or initiatives to ensure each student has what they need for academic success. 


The Teacher Innovation Fund is targeted at teachers in GPRS schools. Its primary goal is to enhance quality education by providing mini-grants to teachers to adopt effective teaching methods. 

The Resource Support for Students is an initiative aimed at students to provide them with school supplies, warm clothing, formal attire, and other essential resources vital for their overall well-being and participation in school. 

If you’d like to contact GPRS, you can visit their local address in Grand Rapids, send a message, or fill out a form online. 

Charity Music of Michigan, Inc.

Although situated in Pontiac, MI, Charity Music, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that serves the whole of Michigan, including Grand Rapids. They aim to encourage low-income kids who love music by providing no-risk instrument loans. 

They also collect old or unused musical instruments from donors, fix them (if they need fixing), and give them to a child who needs them. Their program also includes free or low-cost music lessons for families to help parents discover if their kids have a penchant for music or not. 

Furthermore, their cheap leases of musical instruments extend beyond families to small organizations and charter schools to help them afford band programs. 

You can contact them via phone at (248) 301-60 or send an email to [email protected]

Free & Cheap School Clothes

Moving on from free school supplies, let’s explore organizations that offer free or cheap school clothes to students in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Cathedral of Saint Andrew

The Cathedral of Saint Andrew is a church in Grand Rapids that offers different outreaches to people in need in Grand Rapids. One of their ways of helping the community is through the Cathedral Outreach Center. This outreach is structured to donate clothes to those in need in downtown Grand Rapids and beyond. 

The clothes donated via the Outreach Center come from donors across the city. Then the church sorts the clothes and distributes them twice a week, from September to June. You can check for these donations; chances are that you’ll find a couple of school-worthy clothes. 

Contact the parish office via email at [email protected] if you have further questions about the program. 

In the Image

In the Image is a local nonprofit organization that helps low-income individuals in Grand Rapids get essential items like clothing, housewares, shoes, and personal hygiene products. The organization provides all of these items to needy individuals in the community. 

To start shopping for items from In the Image, you have to fill out an online form to schedule your first appointment. Then you’ll get a personalized link via email that you can use to schedule appointments subsequently. You are allowed to shop 10 times in any calendar year, and not more than once a week. 

They don’t specifically mention school clothes in the items they give out. But when you go shopping, you’ll find clothes fit for school as well as shoes. 

Mel Trotter Ministries

Mel Trotter Ministries is a faith-based community that comprises people who give every month to bring an end to homelessness in West Michigan. They offer meals, healthcare, and shelter to homeless people. 

Among their shelter services is the Outreach and Shower Trailer, where a team goes out a few times weekly to meet the basic needs of homeless people by offering food, showers, water, blankets, and clothing.

If you happen to be homeless, you can reach out to Mel Trotter Ministries now. You’ll surely get more than school clothes when you do. 

Saint Alphonsus Church

Saint Alphonsus Church is another church in Grand Rapids that offers social services to low-income individuals. As a part of their outreach to the community, they have a Food and Clothing Center where they reach out to those in need of food and clothing in the community. 

The center is open from 9 a.m to 1 p.m every working day except Friday. So you can go there before the school session starts on any of the open days to find clothing fit for school. 

Other Education Resources in Grand Rapids

In addition to the organizations we talked about above, here are three more that can provide additional assistance for students:

Boys and Girls Club

Boys and Girls Club is an organization in the US that offers after-school programs to students. They have local chapters scattered across the country, including Grand Rapids. 

Students in Grand Rapids can become members of the Boys and Girls Club and enjoy benefits like academic support, mentorship, and guidance for career preparation. Students also get to engage in arts and crafts, sports and recreation, and develop leadership skills. 

Additionally, the organization hosts a yearly Back2School campaign to gather donations. So if you’re a member, you may get some free school supplies. Essentially, the goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to help students thrive academically and become respectable citizens.

Food Bank

You can check the local food banks in Grand Rapids to see if they have any school supplies to offer. As you know, food banks are usually sponsored by people. So, depending on the donations and, of course, the services your local food bank offers, there might be some school supplies for you. Even when there isn’t, you might get information on where you can get help. 

School District

If you need help with school supplies, contact the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) district and find out if there’s any form of support for you. Your local school may also have someone who guides low-income students on how to get help. You should also check with your school to see if they have that. 

Relief Recap

School supplies and clothing can take up a significant portion of your budget, especially as a low-income individual. Luckily, the organizations we just discussed can help you offset some of the cost of back-to-school expenses.