BLESSING THE COMMUNITY IN NEED: Child with his new Spiderman backpack. Volunteer loading backpacks into car. Volunteer loading food into trunk. Line of guests waiting for event. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CARING PLACE

Staff Report

Many low-income families cannot afford the needed items for the children to go back to school. Part of the reason children struggle with school can be due to inadequate clothing or shoes, dirty backpacks and inadequate school supplies.

This past Saturday the Caring Place put a little boost of confidence in the steps of more than 2,000 at-risk children by giving them brand new backpacks and supplies and new sneakers for each child.

Food staples were provided in part by Stevens Healthcare and Farm Share for all the families. As the families drove thru the various stops at tents that were manned by volunteers and their trunks were filled with the needed items.

Planning to help families, students and teachers, began in July with collecting materials for the Caring Place @ Miami Rescue Mission / Broward Outreach Centers Back to School Drive received and from Pollo Tropical, Image First, AMTrust and Valley National Bank, as well as many individual partners.

With the help of Faithlife Church in North Port, FL, FTI Consulting and more than 40 individual volunteers, nearly 2,000 at-risk youth (500 families) received brand new backpacks filled with school supplies, brand new sneakers and new t-shirts. The families also received hygiene items and food staples.

For the hundreds of children the items may be the difference in helping children want to go to school and learn.

Event attendee Kimberly said “My son loves his shoes and backpack because they are Spiderman and that is his favorite character.”