Back to School Bash


WHAT:  An annual back-to-school event for low income children, sponsored by Indiana area organizations and churches.

WHEN:  THE 3RD SATURDAY OF AUGUST, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

HISTORY:  In 2008 a group of community organizations and churches began planning the first Back to School Bash to provide low income children with the necessary resources for the beginning of the school year.  Plans were made to give the children a back pack with school supplies appropriate to their grade level, as well as a gift card from one of the major discount stores to supplement these supplies. 

The community was asked to donate school appropriate clothing.  A substantial collection was received which was supplemented with newly purchased socks and underclothing.  Hair stylists from the community volunteered to give haircuts to the children free of charge, and a number of agencies provided information about services and programs available to the families.

On the day of the event, the 600 block of Church Street in Indiana was closed to traffic and filled with activity and information booths.  Each of the churches along the street served as a base for one of the services: backpacks, haircuts, clothing, and lunch.


The Indiana County Back to School Bash (B2SB) has become a specialized outreach of Katie’s Closet at Zion Lutheran Church.  Our responsibility is to collect, sort and prepare the donated clothing for distribution on the day of the Bash.  Every effort is made to provide all participants with the opportunity to select clothing in an orderly and respectful manner, as equally as possible.  

  • School appropriate clothing is important, and the guidelines below, as well as the school districts’ dress codes are offered to help the community in making donations.


  • Please mark B2SB donations clearly so they can be distinguished from regular donations to Katie’s Closet. 
  • Receipts for donations are available for tax purposes in the Zion office.

We thank you for your interest and possible donations.  This program can only be successful because of the generosity of the community.  





ALL CLOTHING MUST BE: new or gently used; clean; conform to school dress codes; be age appropriate; be up-to-date styles. 

            Boys:    Pre-K thru high school – Greatest needespecially elementary ages 
                   Pants – jeans, camouflage, pocket/cargo pants
                        Shirts – short sleeve and tee shirts that do not have offensive logos
            Girls:   Pre-K thru high school
                        Pants – jeans, 
                        Tops – short/half sleeve, layers, v-neck 
            Athletic Apparel:  Sweat shirts and pants
            Hoodies:   All sizes
Jackets:   All sizes, pre-K thru high school, light weight and winter weight --especially   children/elementary ages
            Shoes:   Sneakers, flats, ballet flats, flip flops
New Underwear & Socks- Each child will receive some new underwear and/or socks at the BASH. Used items will be set aside for 

selection on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Based on our experience, items that are NOT NEEDED, are inappropriate for BASH purposes, or not wanted by the children: sweaters or turtlenecks (“It’s too warm in school”), dress pants and dress shirts, high heels, long coats, dresses and skirts, short shorts, miniskirts, or cutoffs.  (According to school policy, shorts must be at least mid-thigh.)
All left over items will be utilized by Katie’s Closet and/or shared with other charitable used clothing operations in Indiana and surrounding areas.

DONATIONS:  Clothing can be delivered to Zion Lutheran Church, 100 South Sixth Street, Indiana, PA, 724-465-5597, starting Monday of the last full week of July.
Please label the containers of donated clothing as “BACK TO SCHOOL BASH.”

DEADLINE:  Clothing must be delivered to Zion by the Monday preceding the Bash.
Late donations cannot be sorted in time for display.

The Indiana County Back to School Bash is held on the third Saturday of August.