Where to find and donate free school supplies in Chattanooga

Staff File Photo by Robin Rudd / Shantel Worbington gives out supplies to families at a back-to-school giveaway organized by the Nehemiah Project. This year's giveaway will take place the next two Saturdays at nine locations around town.

Whether you need school supplies or want to donate to students in need, several Chattanooga organizations can help.

* Nightfall concertgoers are encouraged to bring school supplies to add to the collection bins provided by the Chattanooga Football Club, which also will have an inflatable soccer field set up for kids' entertainment starting at 7 p.m. Friday at Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.

Art supplies such as crayons, markers, art canvases, sketch pads and paint sets are especially requested. However, any and all school supplies are welcome to help "stuff" a school bus that will be on site. Donations are used for a Hamilton County Schools "Teacher Shop," where teachers can claim free supplies for their classrooms. Financial donations will be possible through an online link.

The event is also a chance to meet new interim Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Nakia Towns.

* The Nehemiah Project, a partnership among local Title 1 schools, corporations, churches and nonprofit agencies, will give away 6,500 backpacks filled with school supplies the next two Saturdays at nine locations around the city.

On July 31, giveaways take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at Abba's House, 5208 Hixson Pike; Grace Point Baptist Church at Hardy Elementary, 2100 Glass St.; Greater Tucker Baptist Church, 1115 N. Moore Road; Harrison United Methodist Church, 5621 Highway 58; Metro Tab Church at Spring Creek Elementary, 1100 Spring Creek Road; and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga at Miller Park, 928 Market St.

On Aug. 7, times vary at the three giveaway locations. They are: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at City Church Chattanooga, 7122 Lee Highway; noon-3 p.m. at The Bethlehem Center, 200 W. 38th St.; and 4-8 p.m. at Highland Park Commons at The Bethlehem Cup, 200 Union Ave.

To volunteer at one of the backpack distribution days, call Kelley Andrews at 423-316-3744.

* St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2514 Williams St., plans back-to-school events the next two Saturdays - the first to collect supplies, the second to give them away. Church youth are in charge of the drive as a community ministry.

The collection of supplies will be from 1-3 p.m. July 31. Basics are a given, everything from filler paper and glue sticks to backpacks. But there are particular classroom needs to be met as well, such as graphing paper, mechanical pencils, hand sanitizer and facial tissue.

The supply giveaway will start at 1 p.m. Aug. 7 and last until donations are distributed. Call the church at 423-267-6869 for more information.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.