Free Giveaways for Teachers in Need of School Supplies

Free Giveaways for Teachers in Need of School Supplies
The Editorial Team November 2, 2012

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Each year, 90% of teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money to purchase school supplies for their classrooms, and that number is increasing. This financial responsibility puts a lot of strain on educators. However, free giveaways led by charities, nonprofits, or other organizations can be a source of help for teachers requiring classroom necessities, such as pencils, paper, notebooks, and folders. These giveaways are available nationwide, helping teachers provide students with needed materials and tools — without having to spend their own hard-earned money.

Supply A Teacher

The Supply A Teacher program aims to ease the financial burden on teachers to supply classrooms in underfunded schools by providing two large boxes for each educator filled with enough school supplies to last one semester. Teachers nationwide can submit an application explaining how the supplies will contribute to classroom success. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and supply boxes vary based on grade level. 

Donors can choose to fund an individual teacher or school, multiple classes, or an entire school district. Supply A Teacher will then coordinate the filling and shipping of boxes, ensuring that each funded classroom receives its supplies. 

Wishing Well

Wishing Well is operated by Really Good Stuff, a for-profit organization that sells teaching supplies, classroom equipment, and curriculum resources at a discounted price. Through Wishing Well, teachers can browse the supplies offered by Really Good Stuff and compile a public wish list of what they need. Contributors can then search for wish lists by teacher, grade, subject, school name, zip code, or via an interactive map to buy supplies on behalf of a teacher in need. Once supplies have been purchased and shipped, contributors receive updates from the teachers they helped so they can see the impact of their donations. 

Kids In Need Foundation

The Kids In Need Foundation is a national nonprofit that partners with teachers and students in under-resourced schools to ensure all students have access to a quality education. The Foundation maintains a nationwide network of brands, companies, and individuals to get free school supplies and learning tools to teachers and students in need. Schools must meet certain criteria to receive support from their programs.

Teachers who live near the Kids In Need Foundation Resource Center in Roseville, Minnesota, and teach at a local school where 50% or more of students are eligible for the National School Lunch Program can also shop for supplies in person. In-store shopping is by appointment only, and educators receive 60 minutes to browse through the store and choose what they need from available products. 


Adopt-A-Classroom is a national nonprofit that provides free supplies to pre-K-12 teachers and schools in need. Educators can apply for a grant or create a fundraising page. Each donor can then choose a specific classroom, school, or fund to help or be randomly matched with an underserved school. Teachers receive donations as an online credit and can shop for supplies from a network of program affiliates. 

Funding is flexible, which means teachers don’t have to submit a project proposal detailing how they plan to use their funds. Donors receive updates explaining how their funds have been used to positively impact teachers and students. 

A Gift For Teaching

For teachers living in Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, A Gift For Teaching provides free educational resources donated by a network of community partners. Once a month throughout the school year, eligible teachers can visit the organization’s physical retail locations and shop for free school supplies, books, classroom essentials, and hygiene items. Curbside pickup and mobile stores are also available for teachers unable to shop in person.

Donors have the option to contribute financially, volunteer, or donate supplies. Since opening in 1998, the program has donated more than $150 million in school supplies to teachers and students in need. 

Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay

Based in Northern California, Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay (TRCNB) is a nonprofit offering free classroom supplies to teachers and students throughout Napa County. Teachers are invited to shop at the organization’s supply store once per semester to choose necessary supplies. As of February 2021, $1.6 million in school supplies has been donated to help ease the financial burden placed on teachers. 

TRCNB accepts monetary or supplies donations, and it maintains a list of the top needed supplies on its website. It also manages the Tinfoil Project, a recycling initiative that accepts wine bottle donations from wineries and exchanges them for monetary donations. In 2021, TRCNB earned more than $6,500 from this project to use toward school supplies.  

Back 2 School America

Back 2 School America has contributed more than 10.2 million school supplies to underserved communities. Supplies kits containing approximately 30 items are distributed to students and teachers based on grade level. Donors can either buy a premade kit to send to an organization of their choice or build their own kit. With the build-a-kit option, supplies and materials are shipped directly to the donor for assembly. 

Teachers and schools have the chance to win school supply kits through initiatives such as the Entire School Contest or We Appreciate Teachers Contest. In collaboration with Comcast, Back 2 School America also provides low-cost laptops or Chromebooks and high-speed internet through its Internet Essentials program to break down digital barriers affecting low-income families. 

Donors Choose

Donors Choose is a crowdfunding platform designed to help teachers and schools access needed supplies. Teachers can register for an account and create a project detailing what materials they need, the grade level they teach, how many students they have, and how the donation would help their classrooms. There are various categories of school supplies available, such as basic supplies, digital resources, technology, and classroom furniture. 

Once a teacher’s donation goal is reached, Donors Choose coordinates the purchasing and shipping of supplies, sending everything directly to the teacher’s classroom or home. The community consists of more than 5.6 million donors who’ve helped fund around 2.5 million classroom projects across a diverse range of subjects. 

Schoolhouse Supplies

Similar to A Gift for Teaching and TRNCB, Schoolhouse Supplies provides free classroom supplies to under-resourced students and teachers in the Portland, Oregon, area. Educators can make an appointment to shop at the Free Store for Teachers for any needed classroom items. The nonprofit also offers an online store and a Tools for School backpack and back-to-school kit giveaway. 

Donations are collected from individuals, small businesses, families, community groups, and organizations. Since opening in 1999, Schoolhouse Supplies has contributed $35.5 million in school supplies to classrooms throughout Portland, and over 72,000 teachers have visited the free store. 

Being unable to afford adequate school supplies, especially the technologically advanced tools that are becoming more prevalent in the academic world, is a reality for many students. Many teachers are bearing the financial responsibility of equipping their classrooms with school supplies to help their students succeed, but these programs make it possible for even the most under-resourced schools to get what they need while easing the burden on educators. 

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