JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Classes will be back in session in a few weeks and school supplies can get expensive, but struggling families can get help to fill the financial gap.
Below is a list of back-to-school giveaway events, locations and times coming up in Northeast Florida:
Hillcrest Baptist Church
Time, date and location: 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 3 at 7673 Collins Road in Jacksonville
Details: Each year the church gives away new backpacks, school supplies, clothes and shoes. Last year, more than 1,000 children received supplies. All items are free to anyone in need. Supplies will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis while they last. For more information, call Pastor Chris Pruitt at 904-779-9033.
Angel Kids Pediatrics & Farm Share
Time, date and location: 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at 2040 Riverview St. in Jacksonville
Details: This event will distribute fresh nutritional food free of charge to families, children, seniors and individuals in need. Each family will also receive giveaways that include back to school supplies and more. For more information call 904-224-5437
Arlington River Family Dental
Time, date and location: Free services done all day Aug. 17, but extractions will only be done from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 456 University Blvd. North in Jacksonville
Details: Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals with extensive, complex health issues such as recent heart attack or stroke will not be eligible to receive services. Please park at Arlington Congregational Church. For more information, please call 904-721-1400.
The Salvation Army and Walmart Stuff the Bus
Time, date and locations: Giveaways and donations will be held all day Aug. 3 at 13 Jacksonville-area Walmart locations
Details: If you'd like to donate back-to-school supplies, you can buy the items inside and drop them off in front of the store, where donations will be handed out. If you want to donate, but you can’t get out to the store, there's a searchable online registry with a list of items needed. Each item requires just one click to purchase.
Hebron Community Church of God in Christ
Time, date and location: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 at 2305 N. Canal St. in Jacksonville
Details: Hebron Community Church of God in Christ is making sure children have what they need to go back to school. The church will be giving away clothing, books, school supplies and food at its annual back-to-school family fun day on Saturday, Aug. 3. There will also be music, games, bounce houses and much more. On Aug. 1, the church provided free dental cleanings for students in preschool through high school to kick off the event.
Hebron Community Church Pastor Stanley Platts said they're doing what they can to help families in need.
"We fill the needs of the community, so throughout the year, we do different events to help aid the community and its efforts of rearing our children. They're not just their children. We've adopted them. Now they're our children," Platts said. "So whatever we can do to help families do better for their children that's what the church is here for."
The church is asking for donations, which can be dropped off 24 hours a day at the Courtyard by Marriott at 610 Wells Road until the event. For more information, call 904-200-5556 or visit the church's Facebook page.
Time, date and location: About 12:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at 6225 Lake Gray Blvd. in Jacksonville
Details: For the 12th year in a row, Journey Church will be giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to families who are in need. It's first come, first served. Before that, volunteers packed the backpacks on Aug. 1 at the church.
“People are genuinely in need in the community, and there’s little ways you can provide dignity for people, and one of those ways is to put a backpack on a little kid's back with the supplies that they need to go to school so they can be successful when they get in the classroom," Journey Church Pastor Eric Jaffe said. “It’s always so beautiful to see the kids and the look on their faces. Some of them, they might not know that they’d ever have a chance to have a backpack.”
Jaffe said they hope to give out more than 500 backpacks to children. Journey Church also partnered with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce so that it can give out 800 baskets full of supplies to teachers.