The city of Charleston will be accepting school supply donations until Aug. 3. Local nonprofit I Serve with Joy will also be accepting school supply donations until Aug. 24. Both efforts offer designated drop-off points throughout the Charleston area. 

The city will give out the donations it receives during its annual Back to School First Day Festival at the Gaillard Center and the South Carolina Aquarium 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 7.

“The festival is about community partnerships and is a way for the community to celebrate education and show the students and families that we care about their education and want them to be successful,” said Mindy Sturm, director of the Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth & Families. 

First Day Festival is a longstanding event the city started in 2003 to celebrate the new school year by providing families with supplies and information they need in preparation for the year. Attendees can enjoy food from the Lowcountry Food Bank and free admission to the aquarium. 

“It’s a fun day where families can come together and receive free school supplies and take part in the free farmers market that the Lowcountry Food Bank provides,” Sturm said. “We will have about 75 community groups and organizations there with information to hand out about resources and services in the community.”

The community is invited to be part of the event by hosting a school supply drive or donating at the designated drop off points. For a full list of drop off locations visit

Local nonprofit I Serve With Joy is offering another opportunity to donate school supplies for the 2022-2023 school year with its first annual Back 2 School Drive held through Aug. 24. 

I Serve with Joy connects local charities with businesses that are passionate about helping underprivileged students. The organization will accept backpacks and supplies at various drop off locations until Aug. 24 to fill over 250 backpacks with supplies that will then be donated to school giveaways across South Carolina.

I Serve With Joy has several drop-off locations in Hanahan, North Charleston, downtown Charleston and Summerville. Visit for a full list of donation locations and more information

First Day Festival donation drop-off locations: Aug. 3 deadline

City of Charleston offices at 75 Calhoun St., Suite 3700. Downtown
City of Charleston offices at 823 Meeting St. Downtown
Daniel Island Recreation Center at 160 Fairbanks Drive. Daniel Island
James Island Recreation Center at 1088 Quail Drive. James Island
Arthur Christopher Community Center at 265 Fishburne St. Downtown
Bees Landing Recreation Center at 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd. West Ashley
United Bank downtown location: 288 Meeting St.
United Bank West Ashley location: 884 Orleans Road
United Bank James Island location: 430 Folly Road
United Bank Mount Pleasant location: 1492 Stuart Engels Blvd.
United Bank Summerville location: 200 North Cedar St.  

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