SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Kara Califano was overwhelmed to see the community coming together to help her boys who are headed back to school in a few weeks.
“I really want to cry right now. I didn’t expect such an amazing event to happen. And I’m very happy to be a part of it,” said Califano. “And it’s really nice to see all these people out here doing this for the families who need it.”
For the past decade, Hope 4 Communities would partner with Suncoast churches and local food banks to provide school supplies for students in need. Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the non-profit created a drive-thru distribution line to safely get much needed school supplies into the hands of students.
“The main thing was to get resources in the children’s hands. So today they’re getting a backpack, school supplies, care bag with personal hygiene kit, gift cards for clothes and shoes, non-perishable food, produce dairy. We’re trying to get as much as we can through a drive-thru,” explains Pam Hawn, who is the Executive Director of Hope 4 Communities.
The organization selects the students based upon need. They work with school guidance counselors and the Department of Children and Family Services to pre-screen families who are in need of extra assistance.
Over 200 hundred children were given school supplies on Saturday. Among the additional items donated were face masks, which will be required for children to wear while on campus this school year.