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Oakland and Alameda County free back to school supplies.

Find how and where to get free back to school supplies in both the city of Oakland California as well as the greater Alameda County region. Each year many charities, non-profits, churches, and groups give out items such as free backpacks, shoes, clothes, notebooks, unforms, Chromebooks, books, and many other school supplies. There are also generally hygiene programs for students, ranging from free haircuts to toiletries. Find a sampling below or try a free clothing bank in Alameda County for more resources.

In general, these charities and other the resources listed below (corporations, etc.) give away free school supplies during the summer or fall. Some operate year-round. Also, the assistance programs are first come-served and unfortunately not all students can get help. But there may be help for Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and High School students in in Oakland area, even including gift cards or certificates.

Find free supplies such as backpacks, calculators, pens, highlighters, crayons and more. Students can also get free clothes including uniforms, pants, dresses, shirts, belts, sneakers and more, and all resources are based on donations from the greater Alameda County region.

Alameda County Family Resource Centers
There are several as noted below. They help kids (and their parents) get benefits, supplies, clothes and more. It may be free school breakfasts or lunches or CalFresh. Also get emergency food, backpacks, uniforms for students, notebooks, dictionary, gift cards and more. School and college enrollment is offered too, including for non-English speakers. The main number is 510-844-6752.

  • City of Oakland sites are at 1700 28th Avenue, Oakland, California 94601 as well as 746 Grand Avenue, Oakland CA  94610.
  • Other county sites are 2251 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94578; 24823 Soto Road, Hayward, CA 94544 and an office at 43030 Newport Drive, Fremont, California 94538.

Oakland Natives Give Back
Address is 2934 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 350-8434
The social service agency focuses on getting underprivileged high school students to graduate. As part of this, free books, tutoring, school supplies, clothing and more is passed out.




Alameda County Salvation Army
There are multiple social service centers, Family Stores, and assistance programs. They partner with companies and non-profits in the Bay Area to hold back to school drives. Parents with students (all grades and ages) can apply for free back to school supplies, groceries, backpacks, electronics, and educational material. There is also financial help, case management and more. More on Salvation Army programs in Oakland and Alameda County.

Telegraph Community Ministry Center
5316 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, California 94609
Call (510) 658-4457
Various low-income assistance programs are for the poor, unemployed, and struggling in Alameda County.  A clothing bank may have shoes, sneakers, hats, and free school uniforms (or other supplies). There is also food and meals.

Cityteam Ministries
Location is 722 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
Intake number is (510) 452-3758
They help the homeless. Food, meals, shelter and more. Parents with children can get assistance with getting into school as well as supplies like books, haircuts or hygiene for the students, bags, uniforms or clothes and other back to school items.

TSE - Teaching Self Sufficiency through Education
Oakland CA 94621
(510) 629-0204
Resources include a learning center, computer training, free school supplies, GED classes, food and more.

Tri-Valley Haven
Address is 3663 Pacific Ave
Livermore, California 94550
(925) 449-5845
They focus in ending violence. There is also a free food pantry, clothing bank for school supplies, and homeless prevention. Teens and students can get the items they need for school as well as counseling.





Alameda County United Way
They offer referrals to many social services and assistance programs. One example is the LiverMore Backpack Project. Several churches participate. Based on donations, they pass out free backpacks to students of all ages. The backpacks are full of supplies including pro-tractors, pens, loose-leaf, ESL books and more. Call 211 for details on locations.

Faith Based Charities
There are two main ones, and they include the Society of Saint Vincent and Catholic Charities. Get everything from books, free school supplies, food, emergency financial help, and summer snacks. Whether it is something small (pens or pencils) or gift cards, help is offered. Find Oakland California SVDP assistance programs.

First African Methodist Episcopal Church
3701 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, California 94609
For details, dial (510) 655-1527

Harbor House Ministries
Main office is at 1811 11th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94606
Call (510) 534-0165
Programs include Summer Camps, ESL classes, basic school supplies, and educational support. Teachers are also supported with supplies.


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