In less than a month, on September 5th, all students in Philadelphia will be returning to school. As per tradition, August is the perfect time to ensure that your child has everything they need to start the school year off right. However, these checklists can often be extensive and expensive, causing parents to need help financially. 

Fortunately, community groups and organizations have habitually hosted back-to-school events in August, where school supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, writing utensils, and more are given away for free.

Below is a working list of events happening in and near Germantown:

Third Annual Shanks Cleaning Service, LLC Back To School Bookbag Drive & Teacher Appreciation

Neighborhood entrepreneur Keith Shanks runs his own cleaning business. For the past two years, he’s held various drives and giveaways to give back to the community. This year, he continues the ritual. Join him in front of Germantown High School’s main entrance (40 E. High Street) on Saturday, August 26, from noon until supplies are gone for free bookbags with supplies, gift cards for teachers, toiletries like hand sanitizer & paper towels, goodies like water ice & pretzels, games, toys, raffles for uniforms and laptops, and more. While there is no set time yet, check back for updates.

Senator Haywood & Regular Fellows Foundation Back-to-School Celebration

On Saturday, August 26, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Senator Art Haywood and the Regular Fellows Foundation will host a back-to-school celebration at Lonnie Young Recreation Center (1100 E. Chelten Avenue). There will be free lunch, pony/horse riding, community resources, music, face painting, and bookbag and supply giveaways. For more information, go to

T. Valentine/Legacy4Change Bookbag Giveaway

For the 9th year in a row, Legacy4Change will give out free bookbags, uniforms, supplies, and much more to families. In addition to back-to-school resources, they will have other giveaways, entertainment, and snacks. This will occur at Vernon Park (5818 Germantown Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 26. There is a raindate of Sunday, August 27 at the same time.

Back 2 School Community Giveaway

Germantown neighbor and former State Representative candidate Andre D. Carroll is partnering with various organizations for a school supply giveaway. This giveaway will take place on September 2, from noon until 3 p.m. at 730 E. Chelten Avenue (right down the street from Chew & Chelten). For more information, contact Carroll directly at

Back to School Event

First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) will use August 27, the final Sunday of the month, to throw a back-to-school event for Germantown families. The event will span from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at their home base at 6001 Germantown Avenue. Free food, games, gifts, face painting, water ice, school supplies, and more will be free. To learn more about FUMCOG or the event, visit 

Impact Philadelphia Youth Anti-Violence Event

Guidance to Purpose Through Support (G.P.S.) will host their second annual anti-violence event, where speakers and artists are invited to engage with youth to disrupt the cycle of violence. There will also be activities, free bookbags, and school supply giveaways. This event happens on Saturday, September 2nd, from 1-4 p.m. at Roosevelt Elementary School (430 E. Washington Lane)—call (484) 383-4899 or email to learn more.

N.Y.F. Back 2 School Drive

On Sunday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the N.O.W. Youth Foundation will host their annual back-to-school drive. Guests can expect music, snacks, games, community resources, and school supplies. This will happen at Roosevelt Elementary School (430 E. Washington Lane). For more information, visit or email You can also donate via Cash App using $nyf18. Please note: a child must be present to receive materials.