Back to School 2023: Here’s how to get free backpacks, supplies and donate to students in need

With just a few weeks of summer vacation left for students in South Florida, organizations are working to collect classroom supplies to distribute and planning back-to-school bashes. Students will start the school year on Aug. 10 in Palm Beach County and Aug. 21 in Broward County.

Shoppers can take advantage of the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday to save on purchases of school supplies to benefit groups organizing giveaways. Through Aug. 6, there’s no sales tax on clothes, shoes, school supplies and personal computers.

While there’s still time to stay up late and sleep in, spend the day at the pool or beach, take a road trip or go to the movies, parents should take note of these upcoming back-to-school events.

Multiple locations

School Rocks Backpack Giveaway 

Where: TCC stores in Boca Raton (1200 W Yamato Road Suite A6) and Sunrise (12528 W. Sunrise Blvd.) and Wireless Zone stores in Boca Raton (2521 N. Federal Highway), Pompano Beach (1201 S. Powerline Road), North Lauderdale (7204 W. Mcnab Road) and Davie (4779 S. University Drive)

When: 1 p.m. July 30

A backpack full of pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders, a ruler and glue will be available first come, first served to each child who visits the stores’ locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Visit

Broward County

Supply drives

Michael Beaton fills backpacks with school supplies at the United Way of Broward County. (United Way of Broward County/Courtesy)
Michael Beaton fills backpacks with school supplies at the United Way of Broward County. (United Way of Broward County/Courtesy)

Backpack Broward 

Where: United Way of Broward County, Ansin Building, 1300 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale; also online

When: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday until July 29

Drop off a a new backpack filled with notebooks, folders, highlighters, glue sticks, erasers, pens, pencils, scissors, crayons, rulers, Clorox and baby wipes, and tissues for children in need. Donate $65 to sponsor a child’s backpack filled with supplies and other items. Visit

Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center 2023 Back to School Supply Drive

Where: CDTC’s headquarters, 1401 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Aug. 4

The goal is to collect and fill 600 backpacks to help children with special health care needs to prepare for the school year. Supplies needed include backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, folders and glue sticks for preschoolers through high school students. Visit to view the Amazon Wishlist or make an online donation.

Back to School Drive

Where: Coral Springs City Hall Lobby, 9500 W. Sample Road

When: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday through Aug. 5

Donations of new markers, crayons, pencils. pens (blue, red and black), composition books, scissors, erasers, highlighters, folders, index cards, sticky notes, loose leaf paper, glue sticks, three-ring binders, color pencils, rulers and flash drives will be accepted. Visit

North Fork Elementary Community Resource Closet

Where: online

When: Through Aug. 6

The city of Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Leadership Academy Class 12 is collaborating with the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale to raise funds and collect items to equip under-resourced children for the upcoming school year: boys and girls school uniforms, socks, undergarments, backpacks, school supplies, hygiene Items and shelf-stable food. Visit the Amazon Wishlist at

Take a BITE Out of Summer

Where: The BITE Eatery, 2715 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 9

Try samples from the food hall’s nine culinary concepts and get one free drink from The BITE Bar with live music during the event to benefit Children’s Harbor, the Broward Education Foundation and the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Bring school supplies or make a cash donation to fund supply purchases. Admission is free, but registration is required at

BrightStar Credit Union is serving as one of the drop-off locations for the Broward Education Foundation School Supply Drive. (BrightStar Credit Union/Courtesy)
BrightStar Credit Union is serving as one of the drop-off locations for the Broward Education Foundation School Supply Drive. (BrightStar Credit Union/Courtesy)

Broward Education Foundation School Supply Drive

Where: BrightStar Credit Union’s branches in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, Margate and Pompano Beach; Broward Education Foundation School Supply Center, 2300 W. Copans Road, Bay #5, Pompano Beach; also online

When: Through Aug. 20

The annual drive is a community effort between the foundation, the public and local businesses to provide school supplies, including black composition books, folders, glue sticks, pens, pencils, crayons and pink erasers, among others, for students in need. Monetary donations can made in various amounts: $10 can supply 200 pencils, $35 can provide a student with a backpack filled with supplies, $100 can support a teacher with classroom tools and resources, and $250 can provide art supplies for an entire classroom. Visit

The Salvation Army of Broward County Back to School Drive 

Where: 1445 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 20

Donate new or gently used school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, backpacks, calculators, or any other essential items that would be beneficial to students across different grade levels. Monetary contributions also are accepted to purchase bulk school supplies. To donate, send a check payable to the Salvation Army (Back to School Drive) to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 230, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33302-0230. Visit or email

Supply giveaways

Children’s Services Council Back to School Extravaganza

Where: Vernon E. Hargray Youth Enrichment Center, 7000 Miramar Parkway, Miramar

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 29

Children in grades K-12 will receive a backpack filled with school supplies and other items. The first 125 families can also get free immunizations, books, shoes and undergarments for the kids along with food distribution. Free. Register at

Community Resource Fair

Where: Lauderdale Lakes City Hall Complex parking lot, 4340 NW 36th St.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 29

The city of Lauderdale Lakes is offering free health screenings, care packages, backpacks, school supplies and immunizations for students in grades K-12. Other activities include games, face painting, food and music. Free. Visit

5-year-old Ricardo Cornwall receives his free backpack during the City of Lauderhill's Back to School Backpack Giveaway at John E. Mullin Park on Sunday, July 31, 2022.
Ricardo Cornwall receives his free backpack during the city of Lauderhill’s Back to School Backpack Giveaway at John E. Mullin Park last year. (John McCall/Sun Sentinel)

City of Lauderhill’s Back to School Backpack Giveaway

Where and when: 9 a.m.-noon July 29 at John Mullin Park, 2000 NW 55th Ave., and 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 5 at St. George Park, 3501 NW Eighth St.

Both events will have free backpacks, school supplies and haircuts along with food trucks, a DJ, bounce house and face painting for Lauderhill residents only (proof of residency required). One backpack per student (who must be present) will be given out on a first-come, first served basis. Visit

Sharon Cortez along with her kids Aaliyah Hyler, 7, and Christian Hyler, 9 join other volunteers as they help cleanup Dania beach near the fishing pier during a back to school beach cleanup and backpack giveaway on Saturday August 6, 2022.
Sharon Cortez along with her kids Aaliyah Hyler and Christian Hyler join other volunteers as they help cleanup Dania beach near the fishing pier during a back-to-school beach cleanup and backpack giveaway last year. (Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel)

Second annual Back-to-School Beach Clean Up and Backpack Giveaway

Where: Dania Beach Pier, 300 N. Beach Road

When: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 3

Backpacks will be handed out to the first 350 participants. Trash pickers and buckets will be provided and community service hours will be available. Broward County Public Schools, VPX Sports, Lucky Fish, Quarterdeck and FACE (Family and Community Engagement) are collaborating for the cleanup this year. Admission is free along with snacks, music, face painting and a children’s book. Visit

Back to School Block Party & Backpack Giveaway

Where: Oveta McKeithen Recreation Complex, 445 SW Second St., Deerfield Beach

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 5

The city of Deerfield Beach is partnering with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to give out backpacks and school supplies to Deerfield Beach residents only. There will be games, a DJ, entertainment and free food. Register at

Gideons Back to School Bash

Where: Margate Sports Complex, 1695 Banks Road, Margate

When: noon Aug. 5

Gideons Motorcycle Club & Hope Floats Movement will have free backpacks, school supplies and haircuts for children. There will be raffles, music and free entertainment. Visit

End-of-Summer Celebration

Where: Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5

Meet representatives from Sunrise schools who can answer questions about the school year. The first 1,000 Sunrise K-12 students will receive a free grade-appropriate book and school supplies. Students must be accompanied by a legal guardian with a driver’s license as proof of Sunrise residency. There also will be refreshments and children’s activities. Free. Visit

Back to School Backpack & Supplies Giveaway

Where: Wilton Manors Elementary School, 2401 NE Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: noon-5 p.m. Aug. 13

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Project, a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and basic needs and assistance to low-income families and veterans, is giving away 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts and hot meals to children. All ages are welcome, but the child must be present. Bring the child’s supply list and a volunteer will help them pick the items. Free. Visit


Parkland Night Out

Where: Parkland Recreational and Enrichment Center, 10559 Trails End, Parkland

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. July 31

Meet this year’s school resource officers and learn about programs and activities offered at the Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center. There will be emergency vehicle displays and demos, music and food. Free. Visit

National Night Out

Where: Carter Park, 1450 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: 5-7 p.m. Aug. 1

Hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Police and Parks and Recreation departments, families can get crime prevention tips and watch safety demonstrations. Other activities include a kids zone, arts and crafts, a backpack giveaway, and free food and beverages. Free. Visit

Splash in the Pines

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 12

Where: West Pines Soccer Park, 350 SW 196th Ave., Pembroke Pines

Take part in a day of water slides and games with some back-to-school giveaways mixed in. Food trucks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Free admission. Visit

Navigating Challenges – A Back-to-School Strategies & Resource Event

Where: The Center for Spiritual Living, 4849 N. Dixie Highway, Oakland Park

When: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16

During the panel discussion organized by SunServe, experts, educators and experienced parents will share their strategies and tips for navigating the school year. Topics include new laws and mental health with a question-and-answer session and snacks. Free. Register at

SunServe Youth’s Back-to-School Carnival

Where: Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 4-8 p.m. Aug. 18

SunServe Youth’s event is open to all students offering a range of activities, food and amusement rides. Free backpacks and supplies also will be distributed. SunServe therapists and life coaches will be available. Free. Register at

Palm Beach County

Supply drives

“One Can, Two Can. Who Can! You Can!” Back-to-School Food Drive

Where: Palm Beach County Food Bank (701 Boutwell Road, #A2, Lake Worth Beach); county library branches: Gardens, Glades Road, Greenacres, Hagen Ranch Road, Lantana Road, Main Library, West Boca Branch, West Boynton Branch and Royal Palm Beach; Royal Palm Brewing Company (543 N. State Road 7, Suite 103, Royal Palm Beach); and First Horizon bank locations in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton

When: Aug. 1-31

The Palm Beach County Food Bank is working to ensure students get a nutritious start to the school year by collecting beans, fish, chicken, beef, peanut butter, vegetables and fruit. All items should be shelf stable and not in glass packaging. Visit

Volunteers and students pick out school supplies during Back to School PBC at Village Academy School, Saturday, July 22, 2023 in Delray Beach. The event provided free school supplies, books, shoes, socks, health screenings and other community resources to students in need. (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel)
Help students in need by donating school supplies. (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County 

Where: online

Help the foundation equip students with the school supplies they need to be successful in the classroom. Using an Amazon Wishlist, order the exact items the schools require to be sent directly to Red Apple Supplies, where they will be stocked in inventory then packed with teacher’s online orders. Visit Supporters and companies also can sponsor a backpack starting at $25. Visit

Unity of Delray Beach

Where: 101 NW 22nd St., Delray Beach

When: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays (drop off in baskets in the bookstore lobby at the church’s south entrance), or 10 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (church office on the west side of the building) through Aug. 3.

The church is collecting backpacks and school supplies, including facial tissues, pencils, rulers, sticky notes, three-ring binders, spiral and composition notebook, pens (blue, black, red), colored pencils, glue sticks, pink erasers, washable felt markers, pencil cases, lined and plain paper, and crayons. Monetary donations are also accepted. Call 561-276-5796, or email Visit

The Mall at Wellington Green

Where: 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington

When: Through Aug. 6

The mall is collecting school supplies to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. Stop by the Giving Tree on the lower level in Grand Court and select a tag. Shop for the supplies listed on the tag and return them to the Security Office on the upper level down the hallway by JCPenney on or before Aug. 6. For a list of supplies, visit

Elite DNA Behavioral Health offices

Where: Delray Beach (14000 S. Military Trail, Suite 208), Jupiter (4425 Military Trail, Suite 203) and Weston (2625 Executive Park Drive, Suite 5)

When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday until July 31

Elite DNA is collecting donations of notebooks, college and wide-ruled paper, pocket folders, binders, pens, No. 2 and colored pencils, pink erasers, highlighters, pencil boxes, student scissors, glue sticks, wired headphones and sanitizing wipes, among other items. Cash donations and gift cards are also accepted for supplies to be purchased by Elite DNA staff. In Southeast Florida, the drive will benefit students through Broward Education Foundation and The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. Visit

Hoffman’s Chocolates 

Where: Greenacres (5190 Lake Worth Road), Boca Raton (5250 Town Center Circle, Suite 135), Palm Beach Gardens (10957 N. Military Trail), Delray Beach (914851 Lyons Road, #100) and Plantation (801 S. University Drive).

When: Through July 31

The Back-To-School Initiative is raising funds to give backpacks and school supplies to nonprofits, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters; ChildNet; Pace Center for Girls; and Children’s Diagnostic Treatment Center. Hoffman’s Chocolates customers can donate $5 toward the backpack drive to receive a coupon for a free ice cream sundae valid through Sept. 30. Visit


Teacher Appreciation Shopping Experience

Where: Dress for Success Palm Beaches boutique, 2459 S. Congress Ave., Suite 204, Palm Springs and Belle Glade branch, 1089 S. Main St.

When: July 28-29; Aug. 2-4 in Palm Springs; July 28 and 31; Aug. 2 and 4 in Belle Glade

The nonprofit that offers free job services and work clothing to women in need is offering female teachers free back-to-school wear. A personal stylist will help teachers pick an outfit and accessories from their donation closet. To reserve an appointment, call 561-249-3898. Visit

Back to School Bash

Where: Tanger Outlets center court, 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5

In addition to tax-free back-to-school shopping, the free family event includes live music, photo ops, face painting, crafts and games, balloon artist and giveaways. Visit

Kyla Williams,7, greets Roscoe, a Clydesdale with the Palm Beach County Sheriff?s Department, as her brother Quinton,5,waits his turn. The Village of Wellington partnered with local nonprofits to provide children with backpacks, shoes, clothes and other school related items.
Kyla Williams greets Roscoe, a Clydesdale with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, as her brother Quinton waits his turn during a previous back-to-school event in Wellington. (Lee Hershfield/Contributor)

Party in the Park

Where: Wellington Amphitheater, 12100 Forest Hill Blvd.

When: 5-8 p.m. Aug. 4

Sponsored by the Christopher Aguirre Memorial Foundation, and hosted in partnership with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Bounce Houses, families can bring the kids to enjoy costumed characters, DJ, face painting, food trucks, Touch-a-Truck with police and fire rescue, trackless train, vendors and a prize wheel to win free back-to-school supplies. Free. Visit

Back to School Bash & National Night Out

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 4

Where: Village Courtyard, 226 Cypress Lane, Palm Springs

The Village of Palm Springs Library and Police Department are putting on the event with a DJ, games, bounce house, food, giveaways and vendors. Free. Visit

Road to Back to School

Where: Yesteryear Village, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 5

Road to Back to School, a teacher-focused event, lets visitors explore the collection of early, original and replicated buildings in the village and the U.B. Kinsey art student exhibit. Teachers can spin the wheel of prizes. Through Aug. 5, Yesteryear Village guests can bring school supply donations to receive a $3 off regular admission ticket per person. Donations must be a minimum of $5. For the Aug. 5 event, admission is free for teachers with a valid school ID, $10 for adults, $7 for age 60 and up, $7 for children ages 6-11, and free for children 5 and under. Visit

Back to School Teen Vision Board Workshop

When: 2-5 p.m. Aug. 3

Where: Community Studios in The Mall at Wellington Green, 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington

Teens can craft their social, academic and personal goals for the school year on a vision board led by a professional life coach. All supplies are included, but participants can bring magazines or other items to include. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Cost is $15. Registration is required at

Kids Club Back to School Bash

When: 1-3 p.m. Aug. 5

Where: Grand Court at the Mall at Wellington Green, 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington

Kids can take part in activities, including canvas painting at the Art Garden, airbrush tattoos, balloon twisters, music and entertainment. Snacks will be available. Parents and kids can meet representatives from after-school sports and activities, such as Volleyball Academy, Leader Learning Center and Kids Art. Free. Visit

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