Families who need financial help getting ready for the new school year will find a number of programs designed to do just that.


July 26–Aug. 9

In a collaboration with Helping Us Give School Supplies, EasyPark is now accepting pencils and pens in lieu of parking citation payments.

Any current EasyPark ticket worth $20 is eligible, as long as the ticket is less than 30 days old. EasyPark is also only accepting one ticket per license plate.

Here's a list of what is being accepted:

•     #2 Pencils – Quantity 200
•     Blue or Black Pens – Quantity 100

EasyPark says payments must be made in either all pencils or all pens.

Those interested in participating should bring donations to the EasyPark office, which is located at 440 B Street in Anchorage.

Back2School Backpack & Supply Giveaway

Saturday, Aug. 3

This event is sponsored by GAP (Graduation Assistance Program), which helps students in grades 9-12 to be successful.

The program will give away 250 backpacks filled with supplies for K-12 students, as well as hold drawings for gift certificates from local businesses. 

User: The GAP Program To: link


The event is Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Loussac Library in the fourth floor Learning Commons from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

No income or other requirements. Parents are encouraged to bring kids if possible. Get more information by calling 907-444-1997.

Clothesline Project

Saturday, Aug. 10

This event, sponsored by the Anchorage Police Department Employee’s Association, provides new and gently used clothes for school-aged children.

This year volunteers will also distribute backpacks, lunch boxes and new coats to anyone in need. The event is Saturday, Aug. 10 at Tikahtnu Commons in Muldoon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

People wishing to donate new and used clothing for this event will find a number of drop boxes around town, including APD headquarters on Elmore Road, Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Alaska Club locations.

Hair Science Barber Shop

Sunday, Aug. 11

Free haircuts for youth and backpacks filled with school supplies are offered at this community event. It takes place Sunday, Aug. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hair Science Barber Shop, 203 W. 15th Ave.

Owner Shawn Idom said children must be present at the event to collect a backpack. Also, haircuts are on a first-come, first-served limited basis. He advised people interested to get to the event early.

Helping Us Give School Supplies (HUGSS)

Tuesday, Aug. 13

HUGSS will distribute free backpacks filled with school supplies for children in grades K-12. The event will take place Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at East High School.

Alan Budahl, with Lutheran Social Services — one of several charities that coordinates the event — said anyone with children in the Anchorage School District is welcome to attend.

People wishing to donate to HUGSS can visit the Lutheran Social Services website. Just hit the donate button and designate the money for the HUGSS program, where Budahl said volunteers will use it to buy school supplies.

The event is also looking for volunteers who can help fill backpacks the day before as well as help distribute them. To sign up, visit the Catholic Social Services website.

Mat-Su Stuff The Bus and Back to School Fair

Tuesday, Aug. 13

This event is for students in grades K-12 who must bring proof they are registered in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District for 2019-2020.

Backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, low-cost immunizations, school physicals, and gently used clothing and shoes will be provided.  It takes place Tuesday, August 13 at the Menard Center in Wasilla.

For information on volunteering at this event contact Stephanie Allen at sallen@unitedwaymatsu.org or 907-745-5821.

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