Help Hubbard House children get ready for school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – School bells will ring for thousands of students across Northeast Florida on Monday. As you prepare for the first day of school, Jacksonville's Hubbard House is asking for your help by adding a few extra items on your back-to-school shopping list to donate to children of domestic violence.

Nearly 60 children who live in the Hubbard House domestic violence shelter will need help with school supplies. Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin is making sure they get the supplies they need through their backpack and school supply drive going on now through mid-August.

"This is a part of normalcy that we can give back to them and where we can say to them and their moms how much we support them and how much the community supports them," Patin said.

Of the 116 to 130 shelter residents, Patin said, just over half are elementary school children who had to leave their homes and all their belongings because their lives were in danger.

"When people first come into the shelter, they rarely have anything. They're literally running for their lives so they not only don't have the clothes on their back, they certainly don't have any school supplies," Patin explained.

Patin said providing back-to-school essentials -- such as crayons, pencils, backpacks and more -- can bring comfort and hope to families. 

"The children are just thrilled to have something new, something that equalized them with what's going on outside of Hubbard House," Patin said. 

To donate a new backpack or school supplies, you can schedule a drop-off time by calling 904-354-3114 ext. 281. A list of needed items can be found here.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, you're urged to call Hubbard House's 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 904-354-3114.