Back-to-School Drives across the Suncoast

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 11:10 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 1:41 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As another summer comes to an end, it’s time to gather school supplies for another school year. In addition to ABC7′s and Carl Reynolds Law Chalkboard Champions Back-to-School event, multiple organizations are helping kids be prepared for another year of learning.

Below are a list of school drives for those who want to help and those who need a little help.

JCFS Annual Backpack Drive:

The new school year is quickly approaching, and for many families, the required classroom supply lists can be overwhelming. That’s where JFCS of the Suncoast’s annual Backpack Drive comes in.

As one of the area’s leading mental health and human services agencies, JFCS has once again partnered with Hope 4 Communities to help prepare children in need for their next school year. Together they provide backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, family photos, vision screenings, school physicals, gift cards for school clothing and shoes, snacks for school, and more. These events are hosted at local churches throughout the community that provide homeless and needy children with everything they need to begin the first day of school with dignity.

JFCS has provided funding and 500 books from its “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” book donation drive to be given to children during the events. JFCS is seeking additional school supply donations so volunteers can fill backpacks to distribute to those families who missed the deadline to attend Hope 4 Communities’ Days4Hope events. Donations can be dropped off or delivered to our main office at 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. The deadline to donate items is July 29.

Below is the list of needed supplies. Gift cards to Walmart, Target, Michaels Stores, and Amazon are especially helpful.

  • 1″ white clear cover 3-ring binders
  • 5 subject notebooks
  • Band-Aids
  • composition notebooks
  • crayons/colored pencils
  • dry erase markers and erasers
  • Expo markers (thick black)
  • folders (3 prong, sturdy plastic)
  • fun erasers and pink erasers
  • glue bottles/sticks
  • hand sanitizer/wipes
  • notebook paper (wide-ruled)
  • USB headphones for computers
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • spiral wide-ruled notebooks
  • Ticonderoga pencils
  • tissues
  • Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon)

Sarasota Police ‘Pack the Patrol Car’ School Drive:

Students in Sarasota return to school on Aug. 10, 2022. The Sarasota Police Department, in partnership with the community, wants to ‘Pack the Patrol Car’ with new school supplies for the upcoming school year for the fifth year in a row before students head back to class.

The Sarasota Police Department is partnering with CoreSRQ, to accept new school supplies beginning Wednesday, July 20, 2022, through Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, for the fifth annual ‘Pack the Patrol Car.’ New school supplies can be dropped off from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. at two different locations or purchased online:

  • Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota
  • CoreSRQ, 1075 South Euclid Avenue, Sarasota
  • Online through Amazon at

Following the ‘Pack the Patrol Car’ school supply donation drive, members of the Sarasota Police Department will donate school supplies to students throughout the community before school begins on August 10.

The Sarasota Police Department is accepting new school supplies for all ages and grade levels including backpacks, pencils, pens, highlighters, boxes of Kleenex, small bottles of hand sanitizer, folders, notebooks, glue, markers, crayons, erasers, and notebook paper. Members of the Sarasota Police Department will break down all donations by grade level before donating them to students.

Tiny Hands Foundation:

The Tiny Hands Foundation has announced the 5th Annual Back-to-School Backpack Brigade. The Tiny Hands Foundation is a non-profit foundation benefiting underprivileged children and families in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties.

Saturday August 6,2022: The Tiny Hands Foundation, together with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, will fill 1,500 backpacks with school supplies to provide to community children in need. The event will be held at a NEW Venue for this event - CORE SRQ 1075 S Euclid Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237. Volunteers of all ages are invited to attend.

What: 6th Annual Tiny Hands Foundation Back-to-School Backpack Brigade

Where: CORE SRQ 1075 S Euclid Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

When: Saturday, August 6th, 2022

Those who are interested to help The Tiny Hands Foundation with the 2022 Back-to-School Backpack Brigade can email: they can also visit for more information.

$25 sponsors a local child. $500 sponsors a classroom. Your generosity will be deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged. The Tiny Hands Foundation is a 501c3 charity and all donations are tax-deductible.

League of Women Voters in Manatee County:

The event will be held August 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Full Gospel Church in Bradenton.

If you would like to donate or volunteer, click here.

If you have a back to school event that you would like to be promoted, email us at

Hope Family Services:

Back to school is around the corner and children in our community need your help! See how you can help support children in need this school year. Here’s how You Can Help:

1. Sponsor a pre-stuffed backpack filled with essential school supplies for $25. DOUBLE your gift through the Louis & Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust when you select “HOPE Family Services”. You can click this link --->

2. Purchase items online through our Amazon Wish List. Items will be delivered directly to our office for the children. --->

*Don’t forget to use Amazon Smile with HOPE Family Services as your beneficiary* 3. Purchase items from our wish list & drop off donations at HOPE Chest. ---> HOPE Chest: 1215 8th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205 Please call us for other drop-off options at (941) 747-8499. 4. Follow and share our posts on social media with family, friends, co-workers, and our community! — We are collecting items now through August 1, 2022! —

Manasota Operation Troop Support

Free School Supplies for Military Families Starts July 29th at MOTS! They will began distributing at 1 p.m. This is eligible for the family of MILITARY VETERANS ONLY.

4301 32nd St W #C17 Bradenton, FL 34205

Elite DNA Behavioral Health

This Friday (JULY 29) is the final day to donate school supplies in support of Elite DNA Behavioral Health’s Back-to-School Supplies Drive, a month-long collection in support of area students.

A recent survey found that parents plan to spend $661 per child, on average, for back-to-school shopping this year, an expense that can be challenging for families to afford. First day of school jitters can be heightened when students also face uncertainty over school supplies, which can lead to greater feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem, in turn affecting their productivity and readiness to learn. Elite DNA’s collection efforts aim to help alleviate back-to-school expenses for families already impacted by rising food and gas prices.

Along Florida’s west central coast, the drive will benefit students in schools across Sarasota, Hillsborough, Polk and Hernando counties through the Sarasota County Schools, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Polk County Public Schools and Hernando County School District.

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