Seeking Donations for 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.

The 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 the JFCS main office at 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. The deadline to donate is July 29.

The list of needed supplies include: clear cover 3-ring binders; 5 subject notebooks; Band-Aids; composition notebooks; crayons and colored pencils; dry erase markers and erasers; Expo markers (thick black); folders (3-prong, sturdy plastic); fun erasers and pink erasers; glue bottles and sticks; hand sanitizer and wipes; notebook paper (wide-ruled); USB headphones for computers; rulers; scissors; spiral wide-ruled notebooks; Ticonderoga pencils; tissues; and Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon).

Gift cards to Walmart, Target, Michaels Stores, and Amazon are especially helpful.

For more information, please visit To donate, email Karen Pharo, JFCS Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, at

The JFCS delivers programs and services on a non-denominational basis and with the goal of empowering individuals towards well-being and self-reliance. For more information, visit or call 941-366-2224.