Where to Donate or Receive FREE School Supplies for the 2020-21 School Year in the Des Moines Area

Where to Donate or Receive FREE School Supplies for the 2020-21 School Year in the Des Moines Area

Families across the Des Moines metro are transitioning from lax summer days and preparing for the return of the school routine. Whether students will be learning at home or in the classroom this school year, they will need school supplies. To help them get ready there are several organizations that will be providing school supplies FREE of charge.

Please note: Many Back to School events have been cancelled this year.  If you’re in need of school supplies, you may want to check with your child’s school, as some donations are being directly distributed to schools this year. This is a working list, so check back often for updates and additions. Know of an event that needs to be added to our list? Email and let us know!

Want to lend a hand to students in need this school year? Need help getting your school supplies? These organizations in the Des Moines metro area can help!


Project Fresh Start

This program provides students of Ankeny (grades k-12) with free school supplies and backpacks. This year’s Days of Giving will take place on Saturday, August 8 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and Sunday, August 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Prairie Ridge Middle School.

Financial support for this program may be sent to the Community Engagement Department at 306 SW School Street. Questions about Project Fresh Start may be directed to volunteer and chair, Dave Kissinger at dkiss806@hotmail.com. Please consider donating to this worthy cause which offers assistance to Ankeny students.


Clive Community Services Item of the Month

Each month Clive Community Services spotlights one item of particular need.  During the month of July, they are collecting school supplies. Supplies are provided to Crestview School for distribution. You can drop off items at Clive Community Services or at several places around town.  Additionally, they are also accepting monetary donations on their website. For additional information contact director@clivecommunityservices.com.

Where to Find FREE School Supplies for the 2020-21 School Year in the Des Moines Area – dsm4kids.com

Des Moines

Back 2 School Bash

School supplies will once again be given away to Des Moines students through the Back 2 School Bash. They are hoping to have enough supplies for approximately 1,000 students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this will be a drive through event this year. It will be held on Sunday, August 23, 2020 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the Evelyn K. Davis Center (1171 7th Street, Des Moines, IA).

It costs just $15 to sponsor a child’s school supplies. Click here to sponsor a Des Moines child’s school supplies today!

Orchard Place Annual School Supply Drive

Many children are confused, frustrated and eager for their activities and school to go back to normal. For a child that already struggles with anxiety, depression, ADHD or other mental health diagnoses, everything is amplified. While school may not look the same this year, one thing we can do to help is provide the normalcy of new school supplies. Students will need supplies whether the school year starts at home or in a classroom, and you can help! By contributing to the annual Orchard Place School Supply Drive, you can make a difference and help create a positive educational experience for the children served by the drive. You can make a gift at www.orchardplace.org/donate and please type School Supply Drive in the designation box.


Johnston Partnership Back To School Supply Drive

The Johnston Patnership wants to make sure that that Johnston kids are ready to learn this year – however that takes place! Due to COVID-19 they will not be holding their event as they have in the past. School supplies will be provided to schools for distribution at yet to be determined dates.  Donations can be dropped during their operating hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Monetary donations are also welcome. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Andrea at andrea@johnstonpartnership.org or (515) 868-1357.


UCAN Back 2 School Supplies

Urbandale Community Action Network (UCAN) will be providing kids in need who live in Urbandale or are registered in the Urbandale School District a package of school supplies. Supplies can be picked up on Saturday, August 8 from 9:00 to 11:00 am or Tuesday, August 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the UCAN Community Resource Center (7509 Douglas Avenue, Suite 5, Urbandale, IA). Selection and quantities are limited. Income verification (income taxes, pay stubs, free/reduced lunch verification) and residency verification (utility bill, school registration) are required.

If you would like to donate to support this effort, visit UCAN’s website.


Waukee Area Christian Services School Supply Drive

Waukee Area Christian Services is currently collecting school supplies that will be distributed to Waukee students. They have three ways you can donate: sponsor a student, donate supplies or make a monetary donation.  Donations are accepted June through August and can be dropped off at Waukee Area Christian Services, any of their Partner Churches or the Waukee YMCA.

West Des Moines

West Des Moines Human Services School Supply Distribution

West Des Moines Human Services (139 6th Street, West Des Moines, IA  50265) holds a school supply distribution for qualifying, low-income West Des Moines residents in August each year. Income verification and appointments are required to receive supplies. The 2020 distribution dates are August 18th and 19th. Proof of address and income verification is required. Online registration begins July 15th; deadline to apply is August 14th.

Please consider donating supplies or making a cash contribution which allows WDHS to purchase more items in bulk. Contact free school supply donations are accepted on Mondays and Thursdays between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm.



If you know of a Back to School event that needs to be added to this list, please leave a Comment or email it to nicole@dsm4kids.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *