2016 List of Austin-Area School Supply Drives

Did you know that when kids don’t have the school supplies they need, it’s the teachers who buy them?

In 2015, a study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association (now Education Market Association) showed that across America, teachers spend almost $500 a year — of their own money — on supplies for their classrooms and students.

Consider that 60 percent of AISD students are considered “economically disadvantaged,” and you can see why teachers have to make up the slack. That’s why school supply drives are vital to the success of our area students. They support our kids, our teachers and our classrooms.

Want to make the most impact? Follow these four suggestions:

1. Monetary donations are better than donations of actual school supplies. Many of these organizations like For The Children can purchase school supplies in bulk, so your donation of $20 will go a lot further.

2. That being said, if you have a crate of glue sticks to unload, by all means donate them. Remember that name brands count for some teachers and schools, so if you can spring for the Crayola brand, that helps. Just remember to donate a gift, not a burden.

3. If you miss one of these school supply drives, consider giving directly to a school. Most schools offices open back up the second week of August for teacher orientations and trainings. Call the office in the morning to ask about when you can drop them off.

4. Consider volunteering as well. While your group really wants to collect a big pile of school supplies, you might also consider signing up for distribution days. Lots of opportunities below.

NEED SCHOOL SUPPLIES? First, call 2-1-1 on your phone. They are a free service that can connect you to help in your area. You can also contact your school (try the second week of August). They can either let you know if you qualify for school supplies or direct you to an organization that can help.

We’ve learned a lot about school supplies in the five years we’ve been compiling this list (plus we have kids ourselves), but if you have any more information that can help, do add it as a comment below.



mando de cristo back to schoolMANOS DE CRISTO – JULY 18-22

Manos’ Annual Back-to-School Program is set to help 2,000 low-income Central Texas children, Pre-K through 5th grades, July 18-22, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Friday; while supplies last.

DONATE: Monetary donations are accepted, of course, as are book donations – new or gently used – by July 11. Just $40 per child underwrites the cost to provide a child with two new sets of clothing, socks, underwear, and a brand new backpack filled with age appropriate school supplies. Donations of new or gently used books for Pre-K through 5th grade children are also being accepted at the Manos office until July 11 and during the BTS program. To make a donation, visit Manos Back to School Program.

VOLUNTEER: Distribution days are July 18 – 22, and lots of volunteers are needed. Sign up via Volunteer Spot for shifts: Morning 8:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. shift or afternoon shift from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Opportunities include welcoming clients, entertaining children, helping students select clothing and supplies, and cleaning up. They’d love someone to volunteer to take photo or video and bilingual volunteers to help with registration.

PICK UP SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Allan Elementary School, 4900 Gonzales St., Austin, TX 78702 (Bus options: #4-Montopolis or #350-Airport Blvd.) Families in need begin lining up as early as 3:00 a.m. for the first come, first served back to school clothing and supplies. Community volunteers will help 400 children each day through the program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit Manos de Cristo, or contact Lily Lombardi at 512-628-4202 or at llombardi@manosdecristo.org.



Foundation Communities provides after-school and summer learning programs for 700 students at 11 on-site learning centers across Austin. Its school-supply drive helps provide backpacks and school supplies to all 700 kids.

DONATE: Drop off donations at the Community Financial Center at 2600 West Stassney, Austin  78745, on Friday, July 29 between 9 am – 5 pm. They’re looking for new backpacks, glue, supply box, pencils, rulers, markers… the works.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit Foundation Communities or contact Jackie Blair at jackie.blair@foundcom.org.



DONATE: More than 1,000 Communities In Schools (CIS) students will need school supplies when school starts back. You can help! Your donation of less than $20 will provide a CIS student with a full set of supplies for 2015-16. Click here to donate. Donations of supplies can be dropped off at the CIS office, located at 3000 South IH-35, Suite 200 78704, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Accepting donations until July 29, 2016.


Supplies will be distributed on the campuses where CIS has programming (63 in Central Texas) for students enrolled in CIS. To find out if your child’s has CIS program at his or her school, contact your school’s office.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Communities in Schools of Central Texas


mando de cristo back to school


On August 6, Austin ISD will host the 11th annual Back to School Bash Celebration and Safety Fair from 9 a.m.–noon at the Palmer Events Center. Almost 150 community and district organizations will offer exhibits for AISD families to learn more about the services and programs that can help students enjoy a safe and successful school year. More than 11,000 people are expected to attend and AISD is providing free shuttles that run every 30-45 minutes from locations throughout Austin.

VOLUNTEER: AISD raises money to purchase the supplies via corporate sponsorships, but volunteers are needed on the day of the event to help with crowd control, lost and found, and other strategic areas. Interested volunteers should send an email to isabel.vasquez@austinisd.org.

PICK UP SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Free backpacks of school supplies will be available to students in Austin ISD, while supplies last. The event will also offer presentations on safety and educational best practices; nurses from Dell Children’s/AISD Health Services to provide free vaccinations (families must present student shot records), and Kids Vision for Life Central Texas to provide free vision exams and eyeglasses.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit AISD Back to School Bash





DONATE: Donations of supplies accepted until August 8. All donations will go to the students living in our Emergency Shelter and Supportive Housing Units, and are also available to the children who participate in SafePlace counseling programs, or whose parents are part of counseling and prevention programs.

Donations of supplies may be dropped off at SafePlace’s Donations Warehouse at 1515 Grove Blvd, Austin, TX 78741 during donation hours:

● Tuesdays 10 AM – 3 PM
● Wednesdays 10 AM – 6 PM
● Thursday 10 AM – 3 PM
● Friday 10 AM – 3 PM

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit SafePlace to see the list of supplied needed and learn where to drop them off.



DONATE: Round Rock ISD currently has over 13,000 students who qualify for free basic school supplies. Monetary donations are now being accepted for Round Rock Partners in Education Foundation. Donation levels are designed to meet both corporate and individuals’ giving budgets. Individuals might want to “adopt” a student ($10 per child) so they may receive a bag of new school supplies. Donate here.

VOLUNTEER: Volunteer opportunities are available to pack supplies (August 11) and assist with distribution and other activities at School Supply Sunday (August 14), taking place at Round Rock High School, 201 Deep Wood Drive, Round Rock, TX 78681. There are 5 different shifts for each volunteer area. Sign up on Volunteer Spot.

PICK UP SUPPLIES: The Round Rock ISD Partnership in Education Foundation, Round Rock ISD and the Round Rock Police Department are partnering this year to host School Supplies Sunday in partnership with Kuts 4 Kids, sponsored by Dream Big Foundation. School supply distribution will be held August 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Round Rock High School. Students who attend RRISD will receive a free haircut, free school supplies, free food and free health/wellness checks while supplies last. The event is free and will include live entertainment and information about community services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Marianne Reap, at 512-464-5602, or visit Round Rock Education Fund.




VOLUNTEER: The school supplies have been ordered and will be packed on Sunday, August 14, starting at 11 am at Dell Jewish Community Campus on 7300 Hart Lane, 78731. The schools will pick up the supplies. The organizations raised funds for school supplies for more than 1,400 homeless children in Del Valle, Manor and Austin ISDs. Light refreshments will be provided and there will be some activities for the kids. Children, adults and seniors invited.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 512.994.4638 or visit Hindu Charities for America.


More School Supply Drives to come! Feel free to tell us about your school supply drive. 


6 Comments on 2016 List of Austin-Area School Supply Drives

  1. Each year thousands of students in LISD and RRISD elementary and middle schools start school without a backpack or basic school supplies. Let’s help these students kick the school year off right! LISD, RRISD, For the Children, Cedar Park and Leander Chambers of Commerce, HCBC Leander and HCBC Austin are partnering to provide backpacks with basic school supplies for students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Each backpack filled with supplies costs $8 which normally retails for approximately $40. https://hcbc.churchcenteronline.com/registrations/events/33502

  2. Please help I HAVE NEVER NEEDED HELP SO I DONT KNOW WHERE TO GO OR ASK where can I get help for supplies for my 2 baby girls ages 11&7 6th &2nd graders THANK YOU SO MUCH

  3. Hello, I need help with school backpacks/supplies for 3 boys 13,12,7. Please let me where I might go to receive assistant. What Aug 14 location

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