Charleston South Carolina area free school supply programs.

As any parent knows, the back to school supply shopping season is costly. There are ways to get help in the Charleston South Carolina region, including the counties or Dorchester as well as Berkeley. Find some places that give free uniforms, school supply giveaway events, volunteer donation services, and much more. Note the list below is only a sampling of places to get assistance from. Find other options from free clothing closets in Charleston

A variety of school supplies may be given out to low income parents or those in a financial emergency. Depending on the program and charity, what may be offered includes backpacks; College-ruled binder paper; Pencil sharpeners; Highlighters; pencils; Elmer’s Glue; Pens; crayons; glue; Calculators; Color markers; Pencil box; Scissors; Binder dividers and more. Charleston and Dorchester/Summerville are agencies may also give clothing items for school like shoes, uniforms, jackets, and more.

Like all back to school supply events, the giveaways are seasonal. Some are not offered in all years; others are will be. It is recommended to call in advance to learn about the dates as well as application processes. Some of the places to try for back to school stuff include the following.

Palmetto Community Action Partnership
Main location is 1069 King St.
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Dial (843) 724-6760
The community action agency runs a program known as the Youth Education Enrichment Program. Everything from summer camps to free school supplies, uniforms for low income children (kindergarten to high school) and more may be given out.

Local churches and Catholic Charities in Charleston and Tri-County area
Many of these run everything from thrift stores to donation programs. They may give out pens or pencils to kids, backpacks, shoes, paper, and other school supplies. Volunteers often run these in the community. Find church Catholic Charity assistance programs in Charleston County.





Kiawah Cares Community Outreach
Address is 23 Beachwalker Drive
Johns Island, SC 29455
For details, call (843) 768-9194
They administer Adopt A School and Student Programs as well as holiday given. There are free clothes from a “general” clothing provision, school supplies, and more. Other goods can even be offered too, including free furniture (desks, chairs, etc.), teacher supplies, and many other items.

Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Inc.
North Charleston, SC 29415
They only help orphans and parents who adopt kids (foster parents). Call (843) 747-4099. There will be up to 2 weeks of free clothes given to students, hygiene products, and other supplies.

Rural Mission, Inc.
3429 Camp Care Rd.
Johns Island, SC 29455
(843) 768-1720

Referral service - Dial 211 for information. Two local resources that tend to be offered include the following below. However there are also free school supply events in most towns and cities in the Tri-County region, including Goose Creek, Summerville, Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant and others. Dial 211 for referrals.

  • Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St., They often have an annual event for hundreds of kids.
  • First Day Festival at Liberty Square, South Carolina Aquarium, Bags of School supplies are often given out.





Catholic Charities of North Charleston
Church address is 1662 Ingram Road
Charleston, SC 29407
Main phone - (843) 531-5535
One assistance program is benefit screening. They also offer free medical check ups and health care. Students can learn about local places for food or school supplies, backpacks, laptop programs, and more.

Salvation Army
There are multiple locations. Each has a back to school supply assistance programs. There may be pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, and other items given. They also offer financial help, job programs for parents, holiday help, and more. Find centers in Charleston County as well as Dorchester and Berkeley.

Our Lady of Mercy- Community Outreach
1684 Brownswood Rd.
Johns Island, SC 29455
(843) 559-4109
GED classes are combined with school supply giveaways.


By Jon McNamara

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