Heading back to the classroom is expensive, but we can help. Here’s a list of places to go for free school supplies in Jefferson County, Alabama. Because these organizations depend on volunteers and donations, their hours may vary. If you don’t find what you need, check with local schools and churches. They may be able to help or refer you to someone who can.
Free Backpacks and School Supplies in Jefferson County, Alabama
The United Way of Birmingham holds a Hands-On-Birmingham Back to School Backpack Drive every year. They distribute filled backpacks to the homeless, needy, and high-risk children in grades K-12. Supplies go to local agencies such as the YWCA and the Salvation Army. If you need help, call 211 for a referral.
Rotaract Club of Birmingham gives out free school supplies and backpacks to students in some schools. Visit their website for more information.
Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham hosts an annual giveaway with free school supplies and backpacks. For details, call (205) 251-5173.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T., along with 200 other organizations and businesses, sponsors The Annual Back to School R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Rally. The event has given out free book bags, food, and entertainment for over 20 years.
The Joe Lockett Show on 101.1 FM WYDE and Lock and Learn School Supply sponsor a giveaway to provide clear backpacks loaded with free school supplies, courtesy of local businesses. Check with 101.1 for details.
HOT 107.7 hosts a Backpack Block Party to provide free health screenings and around 1,000 backpacks to students in grades K–8.
The Eric Bledsoe Foundation gives away over 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids of all ages every year. For more information, check with local television or radio stations or call (205) 327-3822.
The Assistance League of Birmingham sponsors Operation School Bell, a program that gives out free school supplies and backpacks. They also offer health checks and free haircuts.
Free School Supplies in Jefferson County, Alabama (and maybe backpacks)
The City of Bessemer sponsors a Back to School Bash with free school supplies, food, and entertainment.
Free School Clothes in Jefferson County, Alabama
The following organizations provide free or low-cost clothing, as well as other services, in Jefferson County. Because hours and inventory vary, please check with each organization before visiting.
Free Uniforms and Clothing
Birmingham City Schools Special Needs provides school supplies and uniforms for children from low-income families or those with special educational needs.
Helpline Christian Outreach Ministries helps clients with clothing, toiletries, and school uniforms on a weekly basis.
The United Way works with its partners to provide uniforms and school clothing in some areas. If they are unable to help, they are able to make referrals to organizations that can.
My Child’s Closet in Birmingham provides school uniforms, coats, and shoes to children only. Call (205) 541-8436 for more information.
Eastern Area Christian Ministries serves residents of these Jefferson County zip codes: 35126, 35206, 35173, 35210, 35235, 35215, and 35217. They have a clothing closet that may include school clothes and uniforms. Call (205) 833-7712.
Free or Low-Cost School Clothes
The Foundry Rescue Mission And Recovery Center in Bessemer has clothing for families in need, and it also has a thrift store that sells gently used clothing. Call (205) 424-4673.
Salvation Army offers clothing vouchers to be used in their thrift stores. Although they focus on the elderly, families with young children, and people in crisis, they provide referrals for others.
The 23rd Street Baptist Church in Birmingham provides free clothing for families in need. Call (205) 251-1752.
Catholic Center Of Concern This past year, through direct help from Catholic Charities of Birmingham over 42,658 people were assisted and Catholic Charities distributed over $912,955.00 to the Catholic Centers of Concern. They help with food, clothing, and other basic needs.
Greater Birmingham Ministries helps with food and clothing, as well as other needs for Jefferson County residents who live below the poverty line. Call (205) 326-6821.
Discounts and Freebies for Parents and Teachers
Alabama Department of Revenue has a tax-free weekend for school-related items every year. For dates, visit their website.
Target Stores give teachers a 15 percent discount on all school supplies. Teachers MUST have a Target Circle account and verify their teacher status prior to shopping to get this discount!
Kids in Need Foundation provides two large boxes of essential items (like pencils, scissors, paper, and notebooks) to teachers who serve in communities where at least 50% of the students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Supplies are limited! Apply here.