City of Charleston’s First Day Festival now taking back-to-school donations

VIDEO: Charleston schools’ First Day Festival now taking donations

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Even though The City of Charleston is now taking donations for their First Day Festival, city officials say the school supplies will be given out a bit differently this year.

With the first day of school right around the corner, the First Day Festival Director Mindy Sturm says the excitement of getting a new backpack is more important than ever.

“Their classroom may be in their home, it may be in a different environment, but we know it’s been a challenging year,” Sturm said. “Students have been away from learning environments like this for a long time. So I think especially this year anything we can do.”

For nearly 20 years, Sturm says about 7,000 children and parents come to the City of Charleston's First Day Festival. But despite the in-person event being canceled, she says they plan to distribute just as much school supplies to students in the community.

“Some things remain the same,” Sturm said. “You still need some crayons and some paper and colored pencils and just to be prepared, so they can get back to something familiar, and something that really helps them with their future.”

Sturm says the program may be doing community distributions or dropping off the supplies at schools directly. She says they are working with Charleston County School District to organize how to distribute the supplies, and which schools may need the supplies most.

Donation drop-off locations include:

  • Bees Landing Recreation Center
  • James Island Recreation Center
  • James Island Pool
  • Herbert Hasell Pool
  • Maybank Tennis Center
  • Charleston Tennis Center

If you’d like to set up a drop off location at your business between now and Sept. 1, Sturm says to contact her directly at

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